Kansas City, KS-The Explorers gave up a lead-off double in the tenth that eventually came around to score on a walk-off squeeze bunt in a 7-6 victory for the T-Bones Thursday night at Community America Ballpark.
The win gave Kansas City (16-17) the series victory, and sent Sioux City (12-22) headed back home on a two-game losing streak. The Explorers and T-Bones traded runs in the first to open the scoring. Andres Perez reached for the X’s on a one-out infield single to short. Perez moved up to second on a ground out. Nate Samson followed with a single to center that drove in Perez. Kansas City answered in the bottom of the first to tie it. David Espinosa tripled and later scored on a Byron Wiley single to center.
A four-run second inning for the T-Bones put them ahead 5-1. T.J. Mittelstaedt led off with a single to center and moved to second on a sac bunt. Brian Erie made it first and third after a single to center. A hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. Bryan Sabatella then drove in two runs with a single to left. A balk brought in another run. Following a stolen base by Sabatella, a single to right from David Espinosa made it 5-1.
The Explorers had their own big inning right around the corner. With one out in the top of the third, Rene Tosoni (pictured) smashed his third home run of the season. Nate Samson reached base and advanced to second on an error by the third baseman. A dropped third strike put Tom Mendonca at first and pushed Samson to third. Samson scored on a single to left by Barrows that cut the lead to 5-3. Dillon Usiak followed with a single to center. With two outs, Todd Jennings poked a single to right that brought home both Mendonca and Usiak for a 5-5 tie.
The two teams traded single tallies again in a span of an inning. Kansas City scored in the bottom of the sixth after Bryan Sabatella led off with an infield hit and stole second. He moved to third on a David Espinosa single to right. A sacrifice fly to center by Danny Richar scored Sabatella and broke the tie. Sioux City drew even in the top of the seventh. Dillon Usiak walked and was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Todd Jennings. Tim Colwell then bagged his first extra-base hit of the season on a run-scoring triple that tied it at 6-6.
The Explorers lost it in the tenth after they left Oscar Mesa stranded at third in the top of the inning. Darrell Hudson led off with a double to center for the T-Bones. Brian Erie then sac bunted Hudson to third. The winning play came on a squeeze bunt by Robby Kuzdale that plated Hudson for the game’s final run. Both teams used five pitchers on the night. Chris Bodishbaugh took the loss for Sioux City. Bodishbaugh (1-2) pitched one-third of an inning and gave up one earned run on one hit. Kris Regas posted the win for Kansas City. Regas (3-1) worked one inning and allowed one hit with one strikeout and one walk.
Andres Perez collected three hits for the Explorers. Peter Barrows and Todd Jennings both went 2-for-5. Jennings also drove in two. Bryan Sabatella and David Espinosa went a combined 6-for-10 in the top two spots of the T-Bones batting order. They also combined for three runs and three RBIs. The X’s are now 2-4 in extras this season.
Sioux City returns for a seven-game home stand that starts Friday against I-29 rival Sioux Falls. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.