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Explorers Strikeout Sixteen Monarchs

By: Will Glocker

Sioux City, Iowa (August 8th, 2022) - The Sioux City Explorers struck out sixteen Kansas City Monarchs included collecting eleven of the final twelve outs of the game via strikeout and take game one of the three game series 8-4. 

The Explorers struck in the first. Danny Amaral led off with a walk. Danry Vasquez singled to score Amaral and send Blake Tiberi to third. Sebastian Zawada brought home Tiberi with a sacrifice fly giving the Explorers a 2-0 lead.

In the second Chase Harris smacked a solo shot to put the X’s ahead 3-0.

In the third Danry Vasquez led off with a single and scored a pitch later on Sebastian Zawada’s double. Two batters later Gabe Snyder singled and brought home Zawada and the X’s extended their lead to 5-0.

In the fourth, the Monarchs grabbed a couple of runs when Casey Gillaspie and Gio Brusa hit back to back homers to make it 5-2. 

In the fifth the Monarchs pulled to within a run. Jacob Robson led off with a single and scored off of a Darnell Sweeney groundout. Gillaspie hit a single that scored J.C. Escarra. Gillaspie almost scored the tying run on a base hit from Brusa, but was thrown out at the plate to preserve the Sioux City lead 5-4. 

Blaine Hardy (3-2) went five innings for the X’s giving up those four runs and took the win. He allowed nine hits, two walks, and struck out five.

The Explorers responded immediately in the bottom of the fifth. Zack Kone started the inning with a double and came around to score on another Zawada double. Snyder brought home Zawada on a single and gave Sioux City a 7-4 lead. 

For the Monarchs, Lewis Thorpe (8-2) was handed the loss after giving up seven runs in five innings. Thorpe allowed ten hits, two walks and struck out three.

In the sixth the X’s added one last run. Shane Podsednik who led off with a single scored on a two out error to push the Explorers lead to 8-4.

From there the Sioux City bullpen was untouchable. 

Max Kuhns completed three innings of shut out relief and fanned eight batters. Of the 26 strikes he registered on the night, 13 were swings and misses. The eight strikeouts are a season high for an Explorers reliever. 

Thomas McIlraith then pitched the ninth and struck out the side. Of the final twelve outs of the ballgame, eleven of them came via the strikeout for Sioux City.

Game two between Kansas City and Sioux City starts at 7:05 on Tuesday. Starting on the mound for the Explorers is righty Zach Hedges (1-6, 6.06). On the bump for the Monarchs is lefty Matt Hall (5-2, 1.23).