Sioux City 2, St. Paul 1 (Sioux City wins series, 3-1) – Box
The Sioux City Explorers advanced to the American Association Championship Series with a 2-1 victory in game four over the St. Paul Saints.
The game was scoreless through four innings before Sioux City broke through in the fifth. Explorers CF Matty Johnson led off the inning with a double to right field. Johnson was then sacrificed over to third by RF Michael Lang before coming home on a double by 1B Rene Tosoni to give Sioux City a 1-0 lead. The Explorers extended that lead to 2-0 when SS Noah Perio singled home Tosoni.
St. Paul came back in the bottom of the sixth to cut the advantage to 2-1. Saints 2B Ryan Cavan started off the inning with a ground rule double. After Cavan advanced to third on a ground out from RF David Espinosa, C Vinny DiFazio singled him home with the run. After that, St. Paul was shut down the rest of the way and the Explorers moved on to the championship series.
Tosoni went 3-for-5 on the night with a run scored and a RBI while Johnson and Perio each chipped in with two hits apiece. Sioux City starting pitcher Eric Wordekemper tossed five shutout innings to notch the win. He allowed a walk and five hits while striking out seven batters. Explorers’ reliever Rob Wort threw three innings giving up a run on four hits and closer Jose Flores took care of the ninth to collect the save.
Sioux City will await the winner of the Wichita-Laredo series.
Wichita 5, Laredo 3 (Series tied, 2-2) – Box
Wichita forced a decisive game five as the Wingnuts rallied past the Laredo Lemurs, 5-3. Game five will be played tomorrow night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium starting at 7:05 PM CT.
Wichita broke out on top in the second inning. Wingnuts 1B Andy LaRoche led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on a triple by 3B TJ Mittelstaedt to give Wichita a 1-0 lead. The Wingnuts would tack on another run in the inning as C John Nester singled home Mittelstaedt.
Laredo came back to tie the contest in the fourth. Lemurs 2B Abel Nieves drew a walk to begin the inning and would later come around to score to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Laredo then tied it up as DH Kevin Taylor plated a run on a single by 1B Travis Denker.
The Lemurs edged out in front, 3-2 in the top of the sixth as RF Denis Phipps scored on an infield hit by 3B Juan Silverio. However, the lead was short lived as Wichita came roaring back in the bottom of the frame. Nester singled home LaRoche and DH Taylor Oldham to give the Wingnuts the lead at 4-3. Wichita then added an insurance run as Mittelstaedt scored on a fielder’s choice by LF Harrison Kain.
Laredo would not score again and the Wingnuts claimed the game four win.
Nester had two hits on the night along with three RBI. Oldham and CF Nick Van Stratten each had two hits while LaRoche and Mittelstaedt plated two runs apiece. Wichita pitcher Alex Boshers threw three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
Fans can watch select American Association games live and for free at www.americanassociationbaseball.tv.