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Sioux City Leaves Eleven Men on in Loss


Sioux City, IA - The Explorers had their chances to beat the Cleburne Railroaders on Friday night, but the opportunity to pull into a first place tie in the division went by the way side as the Explorers were unable to get the big hit they needed and fall to Cleburne 1-0 in elven innings. 

The X’s stranded 11 runners on base over the course of the game. None hurt more than in the fourth and fifth innings. Sioux City loaded the bases in back to back frames. First in the fourth when Jeremy Hazelbaker singled with two outs, and back to back walks filled the bags for Drew Stankiewicz. Stankiewicz hit a sinking line drive to center field. And it was the effort of Railroaders centerfielder Zach Nehrir who made a diving catch to rob the X’s of a couple of runs and keep the game scoreless. 

In the fifth, it was a base hit from Dylan Kelly and a one out double from Adam Sasser to put runners at second and third for the X’s. A strikeout and an intentional walk again loaded the bases with two outs this time for Hazelbaker who drove a fly ball to deep left field, only to see Angel Reyes make a running catch on the warning track to again keep runs off the board for Sioux City. 

Carlos Sierra was the starter for Sioux City and he pitched brilliantly. He put together his longest outing of the season tossing seven and a third shut out innings, allowing just three hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven. He would take the no decision and saw his winning streak snap at six. In fact this was the first game the Explorers lost with Sierra as the starting pitcher. 

The game would remain scoreless to the ninth as Michael Gunn started the game for Cleburne and tossed five shut out innings. Greyfor Eregua provided three and a third innings of shut out relief for the Railroaders. 

Once again the Explorers had chances to win the game in the ninth and tenth innings. They got runners at first and second with one out in the tenth but were unable to bring home the runs and got runners at first and second with two out in the tenth but a strikeout ended that frame. 

After being two hit the previous night, Sioux City racked up eight in the contest and drew four walks. But were unable to score a run now for 20 consecutive innings. 

Cleburne was able to finally break the scoreless deadlock in the eleventh. Daniel Robertson and Chase Simpson earned back to back one out walks. After the second out of the inning Cleburne had runners at first and second with two gone. Zach Nehrir hit a slow roller to third, Jose Sermo bare handed it and attempted to end the inning on a tough throw to first that ended up being wide of first. The throwing error allowed Robertson to score from second and giving Cleburne a 1-0 lead.

Tyler Wilson was then called on for his 19th save of the season. He allowed a lead off single to Stankiewicz in the bottom of the eleventh but got a pair of pop outs. And Stankiewicz then attempted to steal second and was called out on a close play to end the ball game for Cleburne. 

With the win Cleburne now holds a two game advantage over the X’s for first place in the South Division. Sioux City looks to even the series on Saturday, as Eric Karch takes the ball for the Explorers and he will face right hander Stephen Johnson for the Railroaders with first pitch at 6:05 pm.