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Sioux City, IA - The Sioux City Explorers are playoff bound after an 8-3 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries.


With the magic number to clinch a postseason spot at 1 and being denied the last couple nights of the imminent the X’s would not be denied. 


Sioux Falls actually got out to a 1-0 lead in the first as Jason Garcia struggled with his control early walking three batters in the first. Mitch Glasser lead off the inning with a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jabari Henry. 


Garcia (2-0) from that point was dominant for Sioux City. He picked up his second win in as many tries going 6.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs, on 5 hits. But what made the difference was his 12 strikeouts in the game. The 12 K’s were the most by any X’s starter in a game this season. Garcia at one point even struck out the side in order in back to back innings, recording six straight outs with a punch out. 


Sioux City pitching in total had 15 strikeouts and struck out everyone in the Sioux Falls lineup at least once. 


Sioux City would take the lead in the bottom of the first though and keep it. Luis Durango would lead off the first with a little league home run. A bunt up the third base line was thrown away by the Birds catcher Maxx Garrett, Durango then went first to third, a throw from the second baseman Glasser to third ended up in the stands and Durango scored to tie the game. Jose Sermo would then double with two outs. He would steal third and on the steal another throwing error by Garrett would allow Sermo to score. The X’s were up 2-1 thanks to three Canaries errors. 


That’s how the score would stay till the fifth. The X’s would open up the lead with a four run inning. The first two men Dylan Kelly and Dexture McCall would reach on singles to lead off the frame. After a strikeout Michael Lang would reach and load the bases with a walk. Nate Samson then doubled the X’s run total with a 2-run single and the X’s lead 4-1.  A ground out by Jose Sermo brought home Lang and Dean Green going the opposite way with a ground ball to left scored Samson and the X’s were well on their way to the playoffs with a 6-1 lead.


They padded their lead in the sixth with two runs as more Sioux Falls errors lead to more runs. Durango reached on a fielders choice. With two outs in the inning Michael Lang reached on a throwing error by Glasser and Durango moved to third. Samson then singled to right. His fourth hit of the night, the second time he has collected four hits in a game this season. Durango scored easily and a bobble by the right fielder Mike Hart allowed Lang to score from first and the X’s were up 8-1.


Sioux Falls tacked on a couple of runs int he seventh and eighth. Both runs were scored by Patrick Fiala as he had a multi hit game and is 5-8 in the series with 3 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.


Sioux City with the win clinched a post season spot for 2018 and with Winnipeg beating Kansas City the Explorers magic number to clinch the Southern Division is down to 1 meaning the X’s can clinch another post season accomplishment and the number one seed in the playoffs with a win over Sioux Falls on Saturday.


Game three between the X’s and Birds will be at 7:05 with Miles Nordgren on the bump for Sioux Falls and James Dykstra going for Sioux City.