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Baseball Cleburne Railroad at Sioux City Explorers

Sioux City Explorers' Keith Picht pitches against the Cleburne Railroaders during the 2018 home opener for the X's. Picht and two others have been traded to the Sioux Falls Canaries.

SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Explorers have announced the trade of right-handed pitchers Ryan Flores, Keith Picht and Dominic Topoozian to the Sioux Falls Canaries to complete the deal made on July 31 that sent infielder Blake Schmit to Manager Steve Montgomery’s squad for three players to be named later.

Flores had been a staple in the Explorers’ bullpen for two seasons. As a 2017 rookie, Flores had gone 4-5 with a 4.27 ERA, striking out 93 in 78 innings while leading the relief staff with 44 appearances.

A year later, Flores improved on those numbers, armed with his electric fastball and his devastating slider. The native of Kerrville, Texas, went 8-2 with 70 strikeouts in 61.2 innings while limiting opponents to a .199 batting average.

Picht was used in dual roles in his second season for the Explorers in 2018. After going 2-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 2017 while appearing in 34 games (six as a starter), Picht began the 2018 season as part of the five-man starting rotation.

Picht made 12 starts for the Explorers to go along with eight appearances out of the bullpen. Overall, the former Emporia State pitcher posted a 5-4 record with a 5.27 ERA, fanning 53 in 66.2 innings of work.

Topoozian was a later addition for the 2018 team that like Picht, saw him in a dual role as a starter and a reliever.

Signed from the Sonoma Stompers on July 22, Topoozian, a former Fresno State pitcher, went 1-1 with a 2.94 ERA. He made nine bullpen appearances and two starts, highlighted by a complete-game on the final day of the regular-season against Wichita.

Schmit, the everyday shortstop for the Canaries, was primarily used in the outfield by the Explorers.

Playing the outfield for the first time in his professional career, Schmit didn’t make an error in 40 chances, which included some highlight-diving catches. His success seemed to transfer to the plate, where he hit a blistering .370 in 33 games, raising his average from .280 when the trade was made to .311, ending up just shy of his career-high .319 in 2016 with Sioux Falls when he was named to the American Association All-Star team.


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