Sioux City, IA-One night after the Explorers walked five batters in the final two innings, they used a Dillon Usiak base knock to right for a 3-2 walk-off win over Sioux Falls Sunday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
With the victory, Sioux City (14-23) captured the weekend series from the Canaries and leads the season series now four games to three. The Explorers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as Sioux Falls scored an unearned run. With two outs, Shelby Ford reached on an infield error. Ford took second on a wild pitch and then scored on a double to deep-left by A.J. Kirby-Jones.
The lead for the Canaries (13-22) held up over the next four scoreless innings. Sioux City finally dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth. Tim Colwell led off the inning with a line-drive single to left-center. Oscar Mesa then reached on a fielder’s choice with no out recorded. On the play, a throwing error was made attempting the force-out at second that allowed Colwell to take third. The next batter, Andres Perez, hit a slow ground ball to second. Shelby Ford collided with Mesa as he charged to field it between first and second. Mesa was ruled out for interference but it forced Ford to leave the game due to injury and left runners at first and third. Rene Tosoni followed with an RBI single to left that tied the game. The X’s forged ahead on a sacrifice fly to deep left-center by Nate Samson that plated Perez from third.
Sioux Falls tied the game on one swing of the bat in the eighth. With two outs, rookie Sam Lind clubbed the first home run of his career to deep right-center and it was 2-2.
In the ninth, Sioux City newcomer Amos Ramon placed a bloop single into center field. Ramon then attempted to steal second with Dillon Usiak at the plate. The catcher’s throw was well in advance of Ramon but a missed tag by the shortstop left him safe after a pop-up slide was well short of the bag. For the second time in the series, Usiak delivered the game-winning blow as he singled to right to score Ramon from second.
Patrick Johnson registered his longest outing of the season on the mound for the Explorers. Johnson did not factor in the decision but he lasted seven-and-two-thirds and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Jimmer Kennedy posted the win in relief. Kennedy (3-4) went one-and-a-third and allowed one hit with one walk. Sioux Falls reliever John Brebbia took the loss. Brebbia (3-2) pitched one-third of an inning and gave up one earned run on two hits with one strikeout.
Dillon Usiak had the only multi-hit game for the X’s as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI. A.J. Kirby-Jones was 2-for-2 with one RBI for the Canaries.
Sioux City continues its seven-game home stand Monday night with the first of four against Rockland of the Can-Am League. First pitch against the Boulders is set for 7:05 p.m. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.