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Today Explorers pitcher Justin Vernia was named the Pointstreak Player of the Week for the American Association for the week ending August 5.

Vernia a rookie for the X’s had two stellar starts during the week as he bookended the Explorers six game Texas road trip. In total during the week Vernia in two starts was 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA, in 14 innings, allowing only 10 hits and 2 runs while only 1 was earned. He struck out 15 and walked only 2 batters.

Vernia’s first start of the week came against the Cleburne Railroaders. He took a tough luck no decision as the Explorers went on to win the game in extra innings 5-4. He went 7 innings allowing just a single unearned run allowing just 5 hits, while striking out 5 batters. In his second start of the week which helped the Explorers wrap up a four game sweep of the Texas Airhogs with an 8-2 win and a 5-1 record for the road trip to the Lone Star State. Vernia picked up the victory as he went 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, he did not walk a single batter and punched out a personal season high of 10 batters.

Vernia was awarded earlier this season as the pitcher of the month for June. In June, Vernia was 4-0 in five starts, as he compiled a 2.64 ERA and struck out 29 batters over 30.2 innings of work.

Vernia this season for Sioux City has racked up a 9-1 record to go along with a 2.88 ERA which at the moment ranks fifth in the league. In his 15 starts this year Vernia has amassed 87.2 innings, allowing only 84 hits in that time to go along with 78 strikeouts and 16 walks, putting together numbers such as a WHIP of 1.14, a K/9 of 8.0 and a BB/9 of 1.6, helping the Explorers to a league best 56-17 record.

Sioux City begins a nine game home stand at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park, which features seven games against the top two teams in the American Association Southern Division; Wichita (44-29) and Kansas City (46-26). The Explorers are 9.5 games ahead of Kansas City for the Southern Division and 12 games ahead of Wichita for the second playoff berth. Sioux City’s magic number for a playoff berth is at 16. They begin the home stand on Monday, August 6th, versus Wichita at 7:05 pm.