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Six Run First Not Enough For X’s At Bird Cage


Sioux Falls, SD - The X’s lost a frustrating one to the Sioux Falls Canaries in the first half of their quick two game series meeting on Monday night by a final score of 11-10. 

The Explorers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on the Canaries in the top of the first. It began with an infield single for Nate Samson and a walk to Jeremy Hazelbaker. Jose Sermo then began a trio of doubles for the X’s with one to the gap in left, center. It scored both base runners. Drew Stankiewicz then doubled, and Dexture McCall to score another pair. It was three consecutive doubles for the X’s in the first. Adam Sasser finished the rally with a single to score McCall and make it 6-0 X’s before the Birds even had a chance to bat. 

But the Birds got their chance and made the most of it. After getting two on with one out, Clint Coulter crushed a pitch the opposite way for a three run homer and just like that the X’s lead was cut in half. A hit by pitch and a double put runners at second and third for the Birds. A ground out scored the first runner and a base hit scored the second. And the Explorers saw their six run lead evaporate in the course of nine batters and it was 6-5 at the end of the first. 

Sioux City added a pair though to extend the lead in the second. Samson began the inning with a double and scored two outs later on a Stankiewicz triple which was followed by a McCall double to put the X’s up 8-5. Sioux City would end the inning with the bases loaded but had scored eight runs, on ten hits in the first two innings. 

From there though the Canaries bullpen came in and shut down the X’s to keep Sioux Falls in the ball game. Luis Pollorena, tossed three perfect innings with four strikeouts and Will Solomon and Sam Bragg added another three scoreless frames for the Birds. 

The quiet X’s offense allowed Sioux Falls to begin the march back. In the fourth it was a pair of solo home runs by Mike Hart and Graham Low that cut the X’s lead down to a single run 8-7. 

The X’s bullpen took over at the end of the first inning as X’s starter Andrew Chin allowed those five first inning runs but could not escape the first inning. Sam Held tossed an inning and a third allowing just those two homers and Tyler Fallwell threw two scoreless frames to get the Explorers to the seventh with the lead still intact. 

But Sioux Falls would take their first lead of the game off of Nate Gercken. He would walk the lead off batter, but then collect a strikeout. But from there it was a base hit and another walk that loaded the bases with one out. Jordan Ebert made him pay with a double to right, center field to clear the bases and give Sioux Falls a 10-8 lead. It was the first hit Gercken had allowed this season with the bases loaded, opponents had previously been 0-10.

Sioux Falls added an insurance run that ended up being the deciding run in the eighth. As Mitch Glasser reached on a lead off single as he had four hits in the game. Another single saw Glasser go first to third and he would score on a ground ball to second to make it 11-8 Birds.

It ended up being a huge run because rookie Justin Felix homered with two outs in the ninth with a man aboard to cut the Sioux Falls lead to 11-10 but it wasn’t enough. 

Sioux City will look to split the quick two game series on Tuesday as that game begins at 12:05 pm. Pete Tago gets the ball for Sioux City and he will face Alex Boshers of the Birds.