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Zawada’s Sacrifice Fly Wins It For Sioux City


Sioux City, IA - The journey to the finale was different but the score and the drama was still the same. A night after beating the St. Paul Saints 3-2 on the power of an eighth inning homer from Jeremy Hazelbaker, the Sioux City Explorers got a walk off sacrifice fly from Sebastian Zawada to beat the Saints 3-2 for the second straight night. 

St. Paul struck first for the second straight night. After recording the first two outs of the ball game X’s starter Andrew Chin began to struggle with his control as he walked the bases loaded with two outs. Josh Allen then made him pay with a base hit to put the Saints on top 1-0. 

In the third Chesney Young singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error from Chin. Young then scored immediately on a Brady Shoemaker base hit making it 2-0. Young scored both runs for the Saints in the game. 

That would do it for Chin who had a tough time finding the strike zone, two runs, one earned in two plus innings of work and walking five. 

From there it was turned over to the Explorers bullpen for the next seven innings and the X’s pen was incredible. It began with Sam Held, making just his sixth appearance out of the bullpen on the season, Held would toss four innings of shut out one hit baseball, striking out two and not walking a batter. 

Held went toe to toe, inning for inning with Saints All-Star starter Eddie Medina. Medina, making his second start of the season against the Explorers was great for St. Paul yet again. He didn’t allow an Explorer to reach second base through the first five innings. 

But that would change in the sixth. Adam Sasser worked a lead off walk. Nate Samson would reach on an infield single and Jose Sermo worked a two out walk to load the bases. It was once again Drew Stankiewicz coming up with a big hit for the Explorers. He knocked one through the right side to drive home the tying runs making it a 2-2 ball game heading into the late innings. 

Medina took a no decision as he tossed seven innings allowing those two runs on just four hits, with five strikeouts and three walks. 

Ryan Flores and Tyler Fallwell combined to pitch the eighth and ninth inning. St. Paul had just one inning where they failed to reach base, but also not leave anyone on. The Saints left 12 men aboard in the ball game and now have left 22 runners stranded through the first two games of the series. 

In the ninth Mike Devine was on for his second inning of work for the Saints after setting down the X’s in order in the eighth. Jose Sermo began the inning with a base hit. Drew Stankiewicz put down a bunt in the attempt to sacrifice himself but instead reached base as St. Paul waited for the ball to roll foul and it never did. Dexture McCall placed down a bunt that did register an out but moved both runners ahead. Dylan Kelly was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Sebastian Zawada then put together a veteran at bat by a rookie. He forced the count full and knowing he was getting a strike hit the pay off pitch to deep centerfield to win the game for Sioux City as Sermo tagged and scored from third. 

For the X’s it was their fourth straight win and 16th win in their last 18 games. And after St. Paul swept the X’s at CHS Field back in May, the Explorers will look to return the favor in August at Lewis and Clark Park. The series finale will be on Thursday with first pitch set for 7:12 pm. Sioux City has Pete Tago taking the mound for the start and he will face right hander Ryan Zimmerman for the Saints.