Rifaela, Brosher Carry X’s to Victory

Cleburne, TX (June 24, 2022) – The Sioux City Explorers snapped out of a six game losing  streak with a 7-5 win over the Cleburne Railroaders. 

The X’s jumped out quickly in the first inning with a four run rally. Ademar Rifaela collected his first of four hits with an RBI single into center field to make it 1-0 Sioux City. 

Trey Martin swatted his second homer of the season and was quickly followed by Danny Vasquez who went back to back with Martin. Vasquez’ home run came in his first at bat with Sioux City and capped off the rally to make it 4-0 at the end of the top of the first. 

Cleburne however consistently chipped away at the Sioux City lead scoring one run in each of the first five innings. In the first Kacy Clemens singled home Zach Nehrir. Edwin Arroyo singled home Hunter Wolfe in the second. A third inning Hill Alexander home run cut the lead down to just one. The Railroaders tied it in the fourth on another Arroyo single. 

Another Alexander solo home run in the fifth gave the Railroaders a 5-4 lead. 

X’s starter Zach Hedges took a no decision as he went five innings, allowing five runs on four hits, striking out four and walking just one. 

Railroaders starter Garrett Alexander was also handed a no decision as he went six innings, allowing those four runs on nine hits, with seven strikeouts and a single walk. A line almost identical to the one he produced against Sioux City last Saturday. 

It became a game for the bullpens and the X’s pen was better. Brandon Brosher (2-1) got the win by tossing three scoreless and hitless innings collecting a strikeout and a walk. 

Over that time the X’s were able to regain the lead. In the seventh Rifaela clobbered a two out, two-run home run to put Sioux City on top 6-5. Rifaela had a four hit game, with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. 

Vasquez added an insurance run in the seventh on his second home run of the ballgame to give Sioux City a 7-5 lead. 

Thomas McIlraith (9) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the save. 

Sioux City will take on Cleburne in game two of the three game set on Saturday with first pitch set for 7:06 pm. Right hander Kevin McCanna (5-1, 4.61) gets the ball for the Explorers and righty Kevin Hilton (1-1, 4.36) gets it for Cleburne.