Sioux City, IA- The Sioux City Explorers win their first game of the season in an unconventional way, scoring the winning run on a walk-off balk in the bottom of the ninth inning. Final score, Explorers 4, Railcats 3 at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.
In the top half of the second, Gary Southshore got on the board first. With a runner at second and third. Railcats shortstop Jose Mederos hit a sacrifice-fly ball to right field, scoring the runner from third and giving Gary Southshore the early 1-0 lead.
Explorers first baseman Jarek Cunningham answered with a two-run shot, scoring the runner from first and giving Sioux City the quick 2-1 lead to end the second inning.
Another sac-fly-RBI tied it in the fourth inning for Gary Southshore. Railcats third baseman Jose Sermo led-off the top of the fourth with a triple, putting him in scoring position to tag up and score on a fly-ball hit to centerfield by Jose Gonzalez.
Sioux City tacked on another run in the fifth inning. X’s second baseman Noah Perio doubled with one out to start the bottom half. Explorers third baseman Tommy Mendonca worked up a two out walk later in the inning, putting runners at first and second with two outs. X’s first baseman Jarek Cunningham continued his hot night at the plate, scoring Perio from second off an RBI single. After five innings, Sioux City 3, Gary Southshore 2.
Railcats tied the game in the sixth inning. Jose Sermo hit a homered with no one on base, adding one run and tying the game with a 3-3 score at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park.
The Explorers needed one run to win it in the bottom of the ninth inning. X’s right fielder Michael Lang led-off the bottom half with a walk and advanced to second base on a Noah Perio single, moving runners to first and second with no one out. Explorers shortstop Nate Sampson advanced the runners over with a 6-3 groundout, putting them at second and third. Tommy Mendonca was intentionally walked to load the bases. With the bases loaded, one out and Jarek Cunningham at the plate, Railcats reliever Taylor Black was charged with a balk, scoring the winning run from third base and giving the Sioux City Explorers their first win of the season.
X’s starting pitcher Cody Forysythe (0-0) wound up with the no decision, three runs in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts. Explorers right-handed reliever Connor Overton (1-0) received the win allowing no runs 1.2 innings while recording two strikeouts.
Railcats starter Karl Triana (0-1) finished with a no decision, giving up two runs in four innings pitched. Right-hander Taylor Black (0-1) was charged with the loss for Gary Southshore, balking with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, to score the winning run.
Explorers first baseman Jarek Cunningham was the big hitter on the night for Sioux City, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a home run. X’s second baseman Noah Perio also had a good night, getting two hits on four at-bats with a run scored.
The Sioux City Explorers will finish the series vs Gary Southshore tomorrow, first pitch – 7:05.
For 2016 ticket information to Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park, call (712) 277-WINS or visit the X’s website at www.xsbaseball.com