SIOUX CITY | No doubt about it, the New Jersey Jackals’ explosive offense left the Sioux City Explorers favorably impressed and even a little bit embarrassed.
Still, the X’s were happy to make a little statement of their own Wednesday night at Lewis and Clark, sending the Jackals down the
road with a 12-4 shellacking to salvage the final game of the first three-game series ever between the interleague foes.
Rookie leftfielder Sam Judah made the most of a starting opportunity with a double and a home run while rightfielder Peter Barrows continued to swing a hot bat, driving in three runs with a single, double and a home run.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Jason Jarvis managed to overcome nine hits in the first four innings, making it to the seventh frame with help from a Sioux City defense that broke the American Association record for double plays in a game with six twin killings.
“I think the key was getting Mr. Judah in there,’’ said Explorers Manager Stan Cliburn, who had to sit Yusuke Inoguchi, batting .316 in the early going, in order to not only use Judah but insert him in the pivotal No. 3 hole. “He seems to put a spark in our lineup. I like what I see and I’m going to have him in there. I don’t even know who’s going to be out.’’
Jarvis, who allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings against Sioux Falls last Friday, fell behind 2-0 after Bryan Sabatella’s leadoff home run was followed by two straight singles for the guests from the Can-Am League.
Barrows answered, though, with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first and the X’s just kept plugging away, trailing 4-3 before three runs in the fifth inning and four more in the sixth sent them somewhat safely in front, 10-4.
“I think it was more about what we put on the whiteboard in the clubhouse today,’’ reflected Barrows, who raised his average to .448 as the Explorers snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-3. “The last few days, our morale was down after they’d jump out in front. We wrote ‘Keep Fighting’ on that board and today we just fought back.’’
New Jersey still managed another 13 hits, finishing 44 of 114 for the series, a robust .386 batting average. However, the Explorers actually reached double digits in hits in all three games, as well, going 36 of 112 for a .321 clip.
The X’s had 15 hits in this one as Leugim Barroso and Adrian Martinez matched Barrows with three-hit performances. Both players also drove in two runs, as did Brian Bistagne, rebounding from the infamous golden sombrero -- four strikeouts in a game -- with a two-run double in his last of five at-bats.
Jarvis, exiting after 6.1 innings, was charged with 11 hits but only four runs and just three of them were earned, improving to 2-0. Cody Satterwhite got the next five outs before closer Chris Bodishbaugh worked the ninth in a non-save situation.
Sabatella, a career .302 hitter over nine previous seasons, came into the game batting only .038 with one hit in 26 at-bats, but his home run was the first of two hits in the game for the king-sized 6-5, 245-pound leadoff hitter.
Double plays in the first three innings helped Jarvis get out of considerable trouble and the X’s also turned two in the sixth, seventh and ninth frames, erasing a league record of five double plays shared by several teams.
Judah’s first professional home run sailed over the right field wall with one out in the fifth, tying the game at 4-4, and the X’s plated two more runs as the next five batters reached safely on four singles and a walk.
Judah and Barrows had back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth inning and that rally also featured run-scoring singles for the second inning in a row by both Barroso and Martinez.
After a day off today, the X’s complete a six-game homestand with a three-game series starting Friday night against their I-29 rivals, the Sioux Falls Canaries, who dropped the first three encounters in a season-opening four game series with Sioux City.
Article provided by Terry Hersom, Sioux City Journal