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Sioux City, IA - The Kansas City T-Bones defeated the Sioux City Explorers 4-2 in the deciding game five of the South Division Series to win the series and advance to the American Association Finals.


The first four innings of game five were another classic pitchers duel between James Dykstra and Tommy Collier as it was a rematch of game one of the series. Through the first four innings of the game both pitchers combined to allow only three total base runners.


Though Kansas City would get on the board in the fifth as Adrian Nieto went the other way for a solo home run to lead off the inning and Kansas City had a 1-0 lead.


The X’s had a golden opportunity to answer the T-Bones immediately in the bottom of the fifth as they loaded the bases with just one out but Collier got a pair of strike outs to end the threat and keep Kansas City in the lead. 


In the seventh Kansas City would expand on their lead on a freak play. As they loaded the bases with one out. Luis Mateo took over on the mound for Dykstra. He would strike out Alay Lago for a big second out of the inning. Danny Hayes hit a high towering fly ball to right field, it was not deep but Michael Lang in right field could not find the ball in the lights. He found it at the last second and scrambled for it but was unable to make the play and the ball fell to the ground. All three runners came around and scored for the T-Bones making it 4-0 Kansas City.


Sioux City would battle back in the ball game. In the seventh Blake Schmit would single and Dylan Kelly would double to put runners at second and third with one out. Daniel Jackson then hit a ground ball to third, Mason Davis’ throw to first bounced away from Perio at first base and Schmit would score to get the Explorers on the board 4-1. But Collier once again faced with runners at second and third but would get out of the threat without surrendering another run. 


Tommy Collier would pick up the win as he went 7 innings against the X’s, allowing just a single run on 4 hits while striking out 9 and walking 3. Collier did not allow a hit during his outing for the first 4.1 innings. 


James Dykstra took the tough luck loss for Sioux City as for much of the night he matched Collier inning for inning. He went 6.1 innings, allowing 3 runs, on 5 hits as he walked none and struck out 2.


In the eighth the X’s would get a run off of T-Bones reliever Joe Filomeno. He retired the first two batters. But hit Dean Green with a pitch and issued a walk to Jay Baum. Blake Schmit then singled home Green and the T-Bones lead was cut to 4-2. But Filomeno would strike out the next hitter to end the inning.


In the ninth Cody Winiarski would allow a lead off single but then retire the next three batters to record his third save of the series. 


Sioux City stranded 10 total men on base in the ball game making it three of the five games of the series where they would strand more than 10 base runners in the game and all three games were losses. 


The X’s also missed out on production from the top of their lineup as batters one through five in the order went 0-21 in the ball game with no walks and six strike outs. 


With the win the T-Bones advance to the American Association Finals where they will take on the St. Paul Saints in a best of five game series beginning in St. Paul on Tuesday. 


With the loss the Explorers incredible season that saw them lead their division and the league in wins the entire season wire to wire, suddenly comes to an end.