Sioux City, IA (May 19, 2021) – After an afternoon of wet weather The Explorers did not let a thirty-minute delay to the start of the game get to them as three first inning home runs paced them to a 7-2 victory over the Houston Apollos.
Nate Samson and Jared Walker began the night with a pair of two-run home runs. And in his first at bat with the team, Lane Milligan wrapped one around the left field foul pole for a solo shot to make it 5-0 Sioux City at the end of an inning of play.
The Explorers offense continued their strong play as they extended their lead in the third. Milligan hit a two out triple followed by a walk from Chase Harris who used his speed to reach second.
Mitch Ghelfi then delivered a stand-up double that sent home the two runners, Milligan and Harris, making the score 7-0 chasing the Apollos starter Ridge Ackerman (0-1) who was saddled with the loss. Ackerman labored through 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs all earned on five hits.
Tyler Beardsley (1-0) earned the win in his X’s debut as he pitched 5.1 innings allowing two runs on four hits, with four strikeouts.
An Ian Yetsko two run home run got Houston on the board. In the sixth the X’s looked to the bullpen bringing in Jose Velez. With two outs in the frame, Mitch Ghelfi did not disappoint on the hype about his arm as he threw out a runner to end the inning.
The X’s emptied out the bullpen shutting down the Apollos offensive attack the rest of the night. Danny Hrbek worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the five-run lead for Sioux City intact.
Nate Gercken looked like his 2019, All-Star self with an eight pitch, perfect eighth inning. And Max Kuhns finished off the victory with a scoreless ninth.
With the win the X’s have improved to 2-0 for the tenth time in franchise history. Sioux City goes for the sweep against the Houston Apollos on Thursday, May 20th, with the first pitch set for 7:05 pm, with southpaw Patrick Ledet making his Sioux City debut.