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Wichita, KS - A pair of Jose Sermo home runs lead the Explorers to a 4-0 victory over the Wichita Wingnuts. 


This game was dominated by the starting pitchers for most of the way. As Charlie Gillies and Luis Mateo were in a scoreless dead lock for the first five innings of play. Both teams were only able to muster seven combined hits. 


But it was the Explorers who were able take the lead first in the sixth inning. It started as Michael lang walked to lead off the inning, Nate Samson then hit a ground ball to short that was mishandled by Leo Vargas the short stop and the flip to second was mishandled and everyone was safe. Jose Sermo then followed with long home run to center field, the three run bomb put the X’s ahead 3-0. 


In the eighth Sermo hit another home run, his 22nd of the season, this time of the solo variety and it gave the Explorers a 4-0 lead. Sermo with his third multi home run game of the year. And second time he has had a multi-homer game in Wichita at Lawerence-Dumont Stadium. 


In the first three game series in Wichita from June 29th-July 1st Sermo went 9-15 with 3 home runs, 7 runs scored and 13 RBI’s. And now through five games in Wichita, Sermo is a combined 12-22 (.545), with 5 dingers, and 10 runs and 17 runs driven in. 


The Explorers also got a great outing by Luis Mateo. Mateo (11-5) picked up the win as he went 7 shut out innings against the Wingnuts and scattered a season low 3 hits, as he struck out 5 and walked 4. 


It was Mateo’s third start this year of shutting out an opponent for six innings or more. He had shut out Gary SouthShore in seven innings during a start on June 23rd and the Kansas City T-Bones for six innings in a start on August 12th. 


The game was delayed in the middle of the eighth due to rain with the X’s in front 4-0. 


In the eighth Wichita was able to get a couple of runners on base due to walks but Parker Markel was able to work around the walks and get out of the inning with three strikeouts. 


In the ninth Eric Karch came on in a non-save situation but still set down the Wingnuts in order to finish off the X’s victory. 


With the X’s win the Wichita Wingnuts have been eliminated from the playoffs and clinched a playoff berth for the Kansas City T-Bones. The Explorers will now face the T-Bones for the South Division Series of the playoffs which will be a five game series with the winner moving on to the American Association Finals against the winner of the North Division Series of Gary SouthShore and St. Paul.


The South Division series will begin in Kansas City on Tuesday for game one and game two will be Wednesday again in Kansas City. A travel day on Thursday the sixth. Then games three, four and five will be in Sioux City. Games three and four on Friday and Saturday will be at 7:05 and Sunday if need be will be 6:05. The Explorers will also have the gates open two hours before game time with live entertainment before the games.


The Explorers and Wingnuts will play game three of the series and game 100 of the regular season on Monday at 2:00. It will be the regular season finale and the final game at Lawerence Dumont Stadium.