Sioux City, IA-The Explorers used their rock-solid bullpen to keep Fargo-Moorhead at bay long enough to seize a 2-1 walk-off win Friday night at Lewis & Clark Park.
Sioux City (30-42) is now 4-6 this season against the RedHawks, and has won two straight at home. The Explorers yielded a first-inning run for the fifth consecutive game as Fargo-Moorhead (34-37) took the early lead. Zach Penprase led off the top of the first with a double that plugged the gap in left-center. One out later, a line-drive double to right-center by C.J. Retherford made it 1-0.
The Explorers drew even in the fourth. Michael Lang walked to lead off the inning and later stole second. Following back-to-back strikeouts, Peter Barrows bashed a double to deep right-center for a 1-1 tie. Thanks to marvelous mound work, neither team pushed a run across for the next four innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, Rene Tosoni led off for Sioux City and reached on an infield single up the middle. After a Fargo pitching change chased starter Jake Laber from the game, Andres Perez sac bunted Tosoni into scoring position. Peter Barrows followed with a walk. The RedHawks made another pitching change and brought in a left-hander that struck out Tom Mendonca. During Mendonca’s at-bat, the Explorers moved runners to second and third with a double steal. With two outs and first base open, Amos Ramon was given an intentional walk. On a 1-1 count with Tim Colwell (pictured) at the plate, Tosoni broke from third on what appeared to be a stolen base attempt. The pitch was then slapped on the ground into right field for the game-winning base knock as Tosoni eased up to touch home. The X's now have four walk-off wins on the season.
On the mound, Sioux City reliever Alex Burnett posted the win. Burnett (3-1) worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Jake Laber suffered his seventh straight loss for Fargo-Moorhead. Laber (6-8) was the hard-luck loser after he pitched eight innings and allowed two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Rob Wort took over for X’s starter Lars Ligouri in the sixth. Wort pitched three innings and struck out seven of the eleven batters he faced.
At the plate, Oscar Mesa and Tim Colwell each collected two hits for the Explorers. Zach Penprase led the RedHawks with a 3-for-5 night and one run scored. C.J. Retherford had the lone RBI.
Sioux City wraps up its four-game series with Fargo-Moorhead Saturday night at 7:05. The eight-game home stand continues with Winnipeg in for four starting Sunday night. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.