Sioux City, IA-The Explorers were locked in a tight one with Fargo-Moorhead Saturday night before they split it wide open with a seven-run, seventh-inning barrage in an 11-2 decision at Lewis & Clark Park.
With the victory, Sioux City (31-42) claimed the series from the RedHawks (34-38) three games to one and matched its longest winning streak of the season. The Explorers gave up a first-inning run before a rapid response in the bottom half put them in front for good. Oscar Mesa led off with a triple to the gap in right-center. Tim Colwell followed with a ground ball to second and Mesa was cut down on a throw to the plate. Rene Tosoni drove in Colwell with the tying run on a smash to deep left-center that ended up against the wall for a triple. Andres Perez (pictured) capped the first-inning fireworks with a two-run home run to deep left and a 3-1 lead. It was Perez’s third round-tripper of the season and his first at home.
The Explorers tacked on a third-inning run that made it 4-1. Andres Perez led off with a single to right. Perez took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a ground out. Tom Mendonca then laid down a safety-squeeze bunt that scored Perez and gave Mendonca his first hit of the night.
Fargo-Moorhead cut the deficit to 4-2 with a single mark in the fifth. Two innings later, Sioux City sent ten men to the plate and exploded for seven runs on just four hits. Tim Colwell and Andres Perez both provided two-run scoring singles to left for four of the runs. Two more came across on wild pitches, and a sacrifice fly out by Amos Ramon plated the final run of the inning. The seven runs were the most scored by the X’s in a single inning this season.
Sioux City starter Patrick Johnson jumped back into the win column. After two straight losses, Johnson (6-4) worked six innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Taylor Stanton took the loss for Fargo-Moorhead. Stanton (3-9) pitched six innings and allowed seven earned runs on ten hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Geoff Broussard toed the rubber for two innings of relief and did not give up a hit. Broussard struck out four and walked one. Chris Bodishbaugh pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to finish the game.
Andres Perez fashioned his second, four-RBI game of the season. Perez finished 3-for-4 with the homer, two singles, and three runs scored. Oscar Mesa, Tom Mendonca, and Michael Lang all posted two-hit nights. Tim Colwell drove in two and scored twice. Rene Tosoni also scored two runs and extended his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games. That matched former Explorer Nate Samson for the longest of the season. Erik Castro had the only two-hit game for the RedHawks.
Sioux City continues its eight-game home stand with the first of four against Winnipeg Sunday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.