SIOUX CITY (Courtesy Explorers) — Trailing 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth the Explorers rallied for five runs to take a 7-5 lead that was finished off by Matt Pobereyko pitching in his fourth game in three days, earning the X’s a sweep of the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Sioux City took the lead first on back to back home runs by Justin Felix and Kyle Wren to go in front 2-0 in the third. For Felix it was the first home run of his professional career.
Sioux Falls would cut into that lead in the fifth with a single to lead off the inning by Burt Reynolds who then stole second and scored on a Mitch Glasser single to make it 2-1.
The Canaries tied the game in the seventh on a home run by Reynolds and then would continue to load the bases with one out. Kevin Taylor brought home the go ahead run for the Birds with a bases loaded two out walk. And Alay Lago added to the Canaries lead with a two run single to finish off the four run seventh inning, making it 5-2.
But Sioux City answered back in that eighth inning. Michael Lang doubled to lead off the frame. It was Lang’s 105th double of his X’s career, now making him the all-time franchise leader. Lang scored on a Nate Samson single to left. Samson advanced to second on a Jose Sermo base hit and together pulled off a successful double steal putting the tying runs in scoring position. Drew Stankiewicz continued the inning with a single to right scoring Samson to make it a one run game and Sermo tied it 5-5 scoring on a wild pitch. Stankiewicz would then steal both second and third as the go ahead run. Adam Sasser drove him in with a single to center. Sasser then took off on a pitch where Sebastian Zawada doubled down the left field line and scored from first to finish off the rally and make it 7-5 Sioux City heading into the ninth.
Matt Pobereyko was called upon for his fourth game in three days. He had already converted his last two save attempts against Sioux Falls and had little trouble converting his third, setting down the Canaries in order and collecting his 16th save of the season. Pobereyko against the Canaries in a save situation during the series was three for three while the Birds went a combined 0-9 with three punch outs against him.
Both starting pitchers earned a quality start but a no decision.
Taylor Jordan for the X’s went six and a third, allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks in his third start this season against Sioux Falls.
Mark Seyler went six and two-thirds again against the X’s allowing just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Sioux City with the win and a Kansas City loss is now in sole possession of second place in the American Association South Division with a record of 32-29. The X’s now head to the All-Star break with days off on Monday and Tuesday. Four Explorers will be going to St. Paul and CHS Field for the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, Nate Samson, Nate Gercken, Tyler Fallwell and Matt Pobereyko.
Sioux City will play next on Wednesday back at home as they begin a three game series with the Gary SouthShore RailCats at 7:12 pm.