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Gary, IN - The rubber game of the three game series just did not go the Explorers way. The X’s lose their first road series of the season as they drop the rubber game of the series to the Gary SouthShore RailCats by a score of 10-1. 

The RailCats jumped out to an early lead yet again on the Explorers as they showed themselves to be potent offensively in the first innings of the series. It began with the lead off man being hit by a pitch, the first of five hit batters on the night for X’s pitching. A base hit was followed by a double from Randy Santiesteban that drove home a run and a ground out by Colin Willis to bring home another and Gary was up 2-0. 

In the second the RailCats doubled up on that first inning effort. A lead off walk ballooned into more when a ground ball to third base seemed like a potential “around the horn” double play but an error by Jose Sermo on the throw to second kept everyone on the base paths safe. Sean Guida drove and Andrew DeJesus both drove in one with a base hit. Another hit batter and Willis again came up with a hot for the RailCats with a two run single making it 6-0 Gary after two innings. 

That was more than enough run support for Trevor Lubking (2-0) who was in control of the game from the start. He spun six innings of shut out baseball, allowing only three total base runners on a pair of hits and a walk while striking out seven. At one point Lubking retired the entire X’s lineup consecutively. 

On the other end Zach Jemiola (0-2) had a rough beginning to his start allowing the six runs to score but overall despite the numbers did not pitch poorly. After allowing six walks in his first start of the year he cut that number down to two and collected five punch outs. He lasted five and a third innings, allowed nine runs, eight earned on nine hits. 

Jemiola after the two run single by Willis then seemed to be in control, he struck out the next three hitters consecutively and retired the next eight out of nine batters. But In the fifth John Price Jr. hit a fly ball to center that is usually an easy out number one but Explorers centerfielder Daytona Bryden lost it in the lights allowing a lead off double. A ground ball to short and a play Nate Samson makes in his sleep was booted for an error and instead of two outs and nobody aboard the RailCats had runners on the corners with no one out. But Jemiola was able to escape the jam with only allowing the single run on a base hit from Marcus Mooney making it 7-0 RailCats. 

The sixth though the RailCats put the finishing touches on their series victory. Colin Willis opened up the inning with a one out double as he had a multi hit game and three RBI’s. Price Jr. drove him home with a triple which ended the night for Jemiola. Jose Velez replaced Jemiola and hit the first two batters he faced. With the bases loaded Marcus Mooney drove in a run with a base hit and a walk to Zach Welz brought in the tenth and final run of the game. 

Velez and Carlos Sierra then finished off the RailCats with a perfect eighth and ninth innings. The X’s were able to avoid the shutout with a pair of doubles from Jose Sermo and Dean Green who picked up the RBI. 

The Explorers will now face the back half of their inaugural season road trip as they play the St. Paul Saints for a three game set over Memorial Day Weekend at CHS Field. Opening game of the series is set for Friday night at 7:05 pm with Max Duval taking the bump for Sioux City facing off against Nick Belzer for the Saints.