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Sioux City, IA - Justin Vernia was once again excellent for the Sioux City Explorers as he lead the X’s to a 4-0 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats. 


Vernia (4-1) carried the Explorers for 7 shut out innings, scattering 5 hits, not walking a single batter and striking out 6. Vernia picked up his second straight quality start over the RailCats after going 7 innings of 1 run ball on June 16th in Gary. Vernia now through two starts against the RailCats has thrown 14 innings, allowed 10 hits, 1 run, no walks and 15 strike outs. 


The X’s are also now 4-0 against the RailCats so far this season out scoring them 23-3 in the process. And Sioux City starting pitchers against Gary now in four starts have combined to throw 28 innings, allowing only 2 runs, on 21 hits, only 2 walks allowed and striking out 28 batters, good for a 0.64 ERA in those four starts. 


Sioux City offensively had a base runner reach in every single inning that they came up to bat. They did all of their damage in the fourth inning when Nate Samson started a hit parade for Sioux City with a one out single. He then scored on a triple by Jose Sermo where the ball hit off the top of the right centerfield wall and bounced back into the field of play making it 1-0 Sioux City. Sermo scored on a Baum base hit making it 2-0. Dexture McCall reached on a single of his own and then Dylan Kelly drove both runners home with a double to left field making it 4-0 X’s. Which was all the runs they needed and would score in the game. 


Lars Liguori (1-4) took the loss for Gary as he went 5.2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 11 hits striking out and walking 1. Liguori now has faced the X’s in back to back starts and has combined for 12 innings, 9 runs on 19 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3 with an ERA in those two starts of 6.75. 


This was the second shut out of the year for Sioux City as they had shut out the Lincoln Saltdogs on May 18th 6-0 in a game where the X’s turned 5 double plays, one shy of the league record. 


Sioux City and Gary SouthShore will play game 2 on Saturday with first pitch at 7:05. The pitching matchup will be Luis Mateo for the Explorers against Jeff McKenzie for the RailCats. The X’s will be giving away free souvenir mini bats to the first 500 fans through the gate thanks to Security National Bank. The X’s will also host a free youth clinic on Saturday from 12-1pm.