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SIOUX CITY, IA The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has traded right handed pitchers, Ryan Flores, Keith Picht and Dominic Topoozian to the Sioux Falls Canaries. This completes the trade made on July 31st, 2018 in which the Canaries sent INF Blake Schmit for three players to be named later.

Ryan Flores had been a staple in the Explorers bullpen for the two seasons that he was with the X’s. 2017 marked the first season of professional baseball for the native of Kerrville, TX. In his rookie season Flores posted an ERA of 4.27 while going 4-5 and lead the team in appearances with 44 while tossing 78 innings and striking out 93 batters. His second season with Sioux City saw him improve on those numbers. Armed with his electric fastball and his devastating “Frisbee” slider the 25 year old appeared in 46 games which tied for the team high, he went 8-2 and posted an ERA of 2.63 in 61.2 innings of work. Flores punched out 70 batters and held opponents to a batting average of only .199. IN his two seasons with Sioux City he appeared in 90 games going 12-7 putting together an ERA of 3.54 in 139.2 innings of work and striking out 163 making for a K/9 of 10.5.

Keith Picht was used in dual roles for the Explorers in 2018. He also had spent the last two seasons with the X’s. Picht in 2017 appeared in 34 games with six of those being as a starter. He went 2-4 with an ERA of 3.89, in 78.2 innings and held opponents to a .247 average. In 2018 Picht began the year as part of the five man starting rotation as he made 12 starts for the Explorers to go along with eight appearances out of the bullpen. Picht went 5-4 with a 5.27 ERA in 66.2 innings of work as he fanned 53 batters. The native of Oskaloosa, KS pitched collegiately for the Hornets of Emporia State University. Picht a career independent ball pitcher got his start with the Kansas City T-Bones in 2013 with nine appearances out of the pen. In 2014 he made the shift to the Frontier league as he pitched for the Frontier Greys. He then returned to the American Association in 2015 for the now defunct Joplin Blasters. Appearing in only two games that season, he made his mark the following year in 2016 making 41 appearances with an ERA of 3.34. In his Explorers career Picht went 7-8 with an ERA of 4.52 in 54 appearances with 18 of those being starts.

Dominic Topoozian was a later addition the 2018 team that like Picht saw him in a dual role as both a starter and a reliever. Signed from the Sonoma Stompers on July 22nd Topoozian had success with the Explorers down the final month plus of the season. The former Fresno State Bulldog went 1-1 with a 2.94 ERA as he made nine appearances out of the bullpen and two starts with one being a complete game on the final day of the regular season against Wichita. His other start was a 6.2 innings, shut out performance against the Winnipeg Goldeyes on August 18th. Topoozian pitched 30.2 innings and struck out 19 in his time with the X’s. With the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association, Topoozian dominated as he was a perfect 6-0 in his nine starts and an ERA of 2.89 with 54 punch outs in 56 innings of work.

Blake Schmit was the player the Explorers received back from the Canaries and was well worth the investment. Schmit the everyday short stop for the Birds for three seasons was more primarily used in the outfield by Sioux City. It was the first time in his professional career that he had played in the grass instead of the infield dirt but handled it as well as anyone could have asked. In his 21 games which he spent in left field he did not make a single error on his 40 chances which included some high light diving catches. That success seemed to transfer to the plate as well where he hit a blistering .370 with the club in the 33 games he played, raising his season average from .280 when the trade was made to .311, which ended up just shy of his career high of .319 in 2016 with Sioux Falls when he was named to the American Association All-Star team. He also drove in 17 runs, scored 27 and stole 7 bases.