St.Paul, MN-The Sioux City Explorers fall to St. Paul 6-4 at CHS Field Tuesday night, a two-run home run in the eighth by Vinny DiFazio gave St. Paul the lead in the final innings.
In the bottom of the first, Saints third baseman Steve Nikorak reached base on balls with one out to start the inning. Nikorak would advance to third on the next at-bat off a single by Vinny DiFazio, and would later score on a sac-fly RBI by Ian Gac to plate the first run of the game.
Sioux City would score their first run of the night in the second inning, X’s shortstop Noah Perio Jr walked with one out and advanced to third off a single to center by Ryan Court to put runners at the corners. Tommy Mendonca ripped a single to right to score Perio and tie it 1-1.
The Saints would put up three runs in the fourth off two hits and an error. Angelo Songco and Joey Paciorek would both have RBI singles in the inning, while Anthony Phillips knocked in the third run of the inning off a 6-3 groundout that scored Songco from third base.
Explorers cut the lead in the fifth off a two run triple by big man Brock Kjeldgaard, scoring Michael Lang and Rene Tosoni from second and third to shorten the lead 4-3. In the eighth Sioux City would tie it. Noah Perio Jr doubled to right with one out, later scoring the tying run on an RBI single by Ryan Court.
Saints catcher Vinny DiFazio would smash a two-run homer in the bottom half of the eighth to retake the lead. St. Paul eventually won the ball-game with a final score of 5-4. The Explorers out-hit St. Paul 7-4, but left seven runners on-base throughout the night, while the Saints only left two.
Starting pitcher for Sioux City was right-hander Patrick Johnson (4-0). The righty finished with the no decision, going a solid seven innings, allowing four runs (three earned), on three hits, three walks while striking out seven. Rob Wort (3-1) was charged with the loss allowing two runs in the eighth on the homer.
St. Paul starter Jeff Shields went six innings while giving up three runs. Right-hander Michael Zouzalik received the win for St. Paul, pitching in relief and allowing a run. Lefty Dylan Chavez got the save on the night, his second of the series.
Sioux City’s Brock Kjeldgaard and St. Paul’s Vinny DiFazio were the hot-hitters Tuesday night, with both batters knocking in two runs. Kjeldgaard had his two RBIs off a triple, while DiFazio homered with a man on to get his RBIs.
Sioux City and St. Paul will play the final game of the series Wednesday-1:05 in St. Paul. For 2015 ticket information at Lewis and Clark Park, call (712) 277-WINS or visit the X’s website at www.xsbaseball.com