Sioux City, IA-The Explorers put the lead-off man on five times Tuesday night but only managed to score twice in a 5-2 loss to the RailCats at Lewis & Clark Park.
With the defeat, Sioux City (25-39) is on a seven-game losing streak while Gary SouthShore has won two in a row. The Explorers plated the game’s first run in the first inning. Oscar Mesa led off the bottom-half with a line-drive single to right. The next batter, Michael Lang, drove in Mesa with a sharply hit double up the left field line.
The RailCats (38-25) were held scoreless through the first two innings before they galvanized in the third. Gary posted five hits in the inning with two doubles. The first two-bagger came from Josh Romanski into the right field corner. Romanski scored to tie the game on a hard single to left by Ryan Brockett. After a fly-out, Daniel Pulfer singled to left. Brockett then scored for a 2-1 lead on a double to left by Drew Martinez. Zac Mitchell made it 3-1 with a single to center that brought home Pulfer.
In the fourth, Gary used a two-out double to left from Ryan Brockett for a 4-1 cushion as Wally Backman scored on the extra-base hit. Backman had reached earlier on an infield single and then stole second. The bottom of the fourth saw the Explorers cut the SouthShore lead in half. Andres Perez led off with an infield single. Following a fly-out, Amos Ramon punched a line-drive single to left-center. One batter later, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tim Colwell (pictured) scored Perez for a 4-2 margin.
The RailCats added an insurance mark in the ninth for the final score. For Gary, Kagen Hopkins was pulled out of the bullpen for a spot start and he picked up the win. Hopkins (3-2) worked five innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits with no strikeouts and one walk. Sioux City newcomer Jesse English took the loss. English (0-1) went four innings and allowed four earned runs on seven hits with no strikeouts and one walk. Barry Fowler pitched the final two innings and yielded just two hits to earn his second save of the season.
Four different Gary batters had two-hit games. Ryan Brockett went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs. Drew Martinez, Josh Romanski, and Drew Muren all collected two hits as well. For the Explorers, Oscar Mesa and Amos Ramon each had two hits. The RailCats outhit the X’s 12-9. There were no errors in the game.
Sioux City plays game three of a four-game set against Gary SouthShore on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled 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.