SIOUX CITY, IA –Despite an early lead, the Winnipeg Goldeyes fell 13-6 against the Sioux City Explorers on Wednesday evening at Lewis & Clark Park. The win propels the Explorers to their third-straight series sweep.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Explorers’ Jose Sermo brought Michael Lang and Nate Samson home on a two-out, three-run homer to double the team’s score and put the Explorers in the permanent lead.
The Fish opened scoring in the first, when back to back singles from Dave Sappelt and Josh Romanski put two runners on base with no outs. Tommy Mendoca singled through the right side, bringing Sappelt home for the first run of the game. On a hit that nearly cleared the ballpark fence, Josh Mazzola sacrificed Mendoca to third and brought Romanski home to give the Fish a 2-0 lead.
The Explorers answered back quickly, with Luis Durango drawing a leadoff walk from Goldeyes starting pitcher Kevin McGovern. Lang singled to left-centre, advancing Durango to third. Jay Austin hit an RBI single next, bringing Lang to home plate. A throwing error by Mendoca gave the Explorers the tying run of the game. Soon after, Sermo hit a sacrifice deep fly to centre, giving the Explorers a 3-2 lead.
In the third the Fish tied it. Sappelt got two free walks in the same inning. He walked to first after being hit by a pitch. Then, a balk called on Explorers starting pitcher Luis Mateo resulted in Sappelt walking to second. Reggie Abercrombie singled through centrefield to score Sappelt and tie the game.
The Ex’s increased their score by three again in the seventh. After Jay Austin and Nate Samson both singled, Sermo singled to load the bases. On a throwing error charged to Goldeyes relief pitcher Calvin Drummond, Austin scored. Jay Baum sacrificed Samson home and brought Sermo to third. In a drive through second base, Dexter McCull brought Sermo home to give the Explorers a 9-3 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Explorers added four more runs to their tally. After Durango and Lang drew back-to-back walks, Drummond was pulled from the game due to an undisclosed injury. Mazzola stepped in to make an emergency relief appearance for Drummond. After a fly to centrefield from Jay Austin moved Durango to third, Nate Sampson sacrificed Durango to home plate. The final three runs were scored by Jay Baum. With two outs, Baum smashed a three run homer down left field that put the Explorers ten runs ahead of the Fish.
The Goldeyes fell short of a comeback in the ninth, but did score three runs. After Jordan Ebert singled to first, Grant Heyman and Matt McCann drew back-to-back walks. A two-run single down the left field line from Sappelt brought both Ebert and Heyman home to score. On a wild pitch, McCann advanced to third. Josh Romanski scored earned the last RBI of the game, when he sacrificed McCann to home plate.
Although McGovern took the loss (six runs, five earned), today he passed Richard Salazar for second place on the American Association’s all-time career strikeout list. Since beginning in the league five years ago, McGovern has struck out 463 batters to date. He now also holds the record for the most-ever recorded strikeouts by a left-handed pitched in the American Association. Explorers’ starting pitcher Luis Mateo earned the win (three runs, three earned)
Tomorrow, the Goldeyes begin a four-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Fish return home on Monday, July 9th, where they begin a four-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries.