Sioux City, IA-A former Explorer kept Sioux City hitters at bay as the Rockland Boulders earned a split of the four-game series with a 6-3 win Thursday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Rockland (18-14) scored first for the first time in the series. Matt Nandin led off the game with a line-drive single to left. With two outs, Jerod Edmondson singled to left-center. The next batter, Steve Nyisztor shot a line-drive to right that brought Nandin home for a 1-0 lead.
Sioux City (16-25) drew even in the second. Nate Samson led off the inning with a line-drive single to right. Peter Barrows walked and Tom Mendonca sac bunted the runners up to second and third. Amos Ramon then grounded out to second to earn an RBI as Samson scored from third.
The Boulders reclaimed the lead in the very next inning. Antone DeJesus led off the third with a hard single to left. He then stole second. With one out, Jerod Edmondson walked. A ground ball to short off the bat of Steve Nyisztor gave the X’s a chance at a double play, but the relay back to first was late and DeJesus raced around third to score on an errant throw to the plate. Rockland led 2-1 through three.
In the sixth, the Boulders added to their lead with a two-out, two-run home run by Marcus Nidiffer. Joe Maloney had walked to lead off the inning. The Explorers cut the deficit back to one in the bottom of the sixth with a two-spot of their own. Andres Perez (pictured) tripled to right to extend his on-base streak to 17 games. He scored on an RBI double to right by Rene Tosoni. Nate Samson then reached on an infield single that glanced off the glove of the shortstop into center field. After a walk to Peter Barrows loaded the bases, there were back-to-back strikeouts. Dillon Usiak was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and it was 4-3 in favor of Rockland. The Boulders sealed the victory with two insurance runs, one each in the seventh and eighth innings.
With the loss, the Explorers finish the home stand with a 4-3 record. On the mound, former Sioux City left-hander Richard Salazar posted the win. Salazar (3-0) went five-and-a-third and gave up three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Greg Holt suffered the loss for the X’s. Holt (2-6) worked six-and-a-third and yielded five earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Alex Kreis earned his sixth save of the season for the Boulders. He walked two and struck out one.
At the plate, Nate Samson and Todd Jennings each had two hits in defeat. For Rockland, Jerod Edmondson went 4-for-4 with an RBI, while Steve Nyisztor and Will Walsh both collected two hits. Marcus Nidiffer had the home run and drove in three.
Sioux City starts a new road trip down in Texas Friday night with the first of three at Amarillo. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Following a road series at Grand Prairie, the Explorers return home to face Wichita July 3rd through 5th. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.