Gary, IN-The Explorers put the finishing touches on a perfect road record against the RailCats this season with a 10-7 victory Wednesday night at U.S. Steel Yard.
Sioux City (39-45) has won a season-high six straight games. The last six-game winning streak for the franchise occurred back in 2007, when it won ten in a row. The Explorers closed out their seven-game road trip with a 6-1 mark. In addition, the X’s season series against Gary SouthShore (43-40) includes a 6-0 record at Gary. Sioux City has gone 11-4 in its last 15 games.
The night did not start so well for the Explorers as they gave up two first-inning runs to the RailCats. Daniel Pulfer led off the inning for Gary with an infield single. Drew Martinez followed with a base hit to left. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, and a sacrifice fly brought in Pulfer with the first run. A single by Josh Romanski scored Martinez for a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Sioux City plated half-a-dozen to stun the home crowd and take the lead. Three straight singles by Michael Lang, Oscar Mesa, and Tim Colwell accounted for the first run. With Rene Tosoni at the plate, Mesa and Colwell pulled off a double steal. Tosoni then tied it with a single to center. Colwell scored for a 3-2 lead as Andres Perez reached on an error by the shortstop. A double to right by Peter Barrows brought in Tosoni for a 4-2 advantage. Perez came home for another run on a sacrifice fly to right by Tom Mendonca. An Amos Ramon sac fly to left scored Barrows and it was 6-2 through three.
The two teams combined to score eight runs in the fifth. The Explorers used back-to-back walks and a one-out three-run home run from Amos Ramon for a 9-2 cushion. SouthShore cut the deficit to 9-7 with a five-spot in the bottom of the inning. The RailCats half-inning was highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Josh Romanski. The X’s added an insurance run in the ninth to finish the scoring.
On the mound, lefty reliever Kenny Long (pictured) posted his first win of the season. Long (1-0) worked over Gary for four scoreless innings and gave up just two hits with one walk. Stephen Hiscock suffered the loss for the RailCats. Hiscock (8-5) went six innings and allowed nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Chris Bodishbaugh came on in the ninth and struck out the only two batters he faced to record his 13th save of the season.
The Explorers offensive attack was led by Amos Ramon. Ramon went 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBIs, and a run scored. Oscar Mesa and Tim Colwell each bagged two hits. Colwell, Andres Perez, and Peter Barrows all scored twice. Perez also had a two-RBI night. For Gary, Josh Romanski went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs. Drew Martinez, Wally Backman, and Drew Muren all had two-hit games as well.
Sioux City returns home to face Central Division leader Lincoln on Thursday in the first of a crucial four-game series. It will mark the first time the two meet this season. For ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.