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SIOUX CITY, IA - The Explorers win their fifth straight game and improve to a league best record, 8-1. with a 7-1 victory over the Cleburne Railroaders. 


Sioux City used a strong start from Justin Vernia who picked up the win (1-1) going 5.2 innings, allowing one run and scattering seven hits while striking out 4 and not walking a batter. 


Sioux City staked him to a two run lead by scoring twice in the second. With the bases loaded and two outs in a still scoreless game Michael Lang hit a pop up on the infield in what should have been a routine pop out to end the inning. But Cleburne third baseman Angelo Gumbs got a late break on the pop up and the ball fell to to the ground between the mound and home plate , allowing two runs to score and giving Sioux City a 2-0 lead. 


The Explorers would score again in the third, after Jay Baum worked a one out walk he stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With two outs in the inning X’s catcher Dylan Kelly lined a base hit into right field to score Baum and give Sioux City a 3-0 lead off of Cleburne starter Roman Gomez. Gomez took the loss going 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits, walking 4 and striking out 1. 


Cleburne would start off the fourth inning with a Levi Scott double to left center. Angelo Gumbs would line a base hit into left field to score Scott and make it 3-1 Explorers. Vernia dodged some trouble in the inning as with two outs, Michael Pair hit a hard line drive down the right field line in what was an 11 pitch at bat. Gumbs would have scored all the way from first base except for that the ball went out of play for a ground rule double. So Gumbs was forced to go back to third. The next batter Blake Grant-Parks grounded out to second to end the scoring threat for Cleburne. That was the last time that Cleburne would get a man to reach third base in the game. 


Sioux City would blow the game open in the bottom of the eighth with a four run rally. The bottom third of the Sioux City order were the ones to get it going. Dexture McCall lead off with a walk. Dylan Kelly was hit by a pitch and Daniel Jackson reached on a bunt single. That loaded the bases with no one out for Luis Durango who lined a base hit into right field to make it 4-1 X’s. Lang would reach on a fielders choice keeping the bases loaded, for Jay Austin who brought Jackson home by working a walk. Nate Samson would add a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Durango. A throwing error by the Railroaders centerfielder allowed Lang and Austin to tag as well moving them to second and third. Lang would then score on a wild pitch by reliever Tyler Wilson finishing the rally and putting the X’s up 7-1. 


Sioux City has now won five straight games and taken the first two of this three game series against the Railroaders and go for the three game sweep on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 6:05.