SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Sioux City used a fantastic start from Pete Tago, who struck out 12 over seven innings, and Adam Sasser had his first professional multi-homer game to lead the Explorers to a 12-5 win Tuesday afternoon.
Both teams traded runs in the first couple of innings. Nate Samson drove home the first run of the game for the X’s. The Canaries responded in the first with an RBI ground out from Clint Coulter. The X’s drove in a run in the second as Dexture McCall doubled and came around to score on a Dylan Kelly sacrifice fly to centerfield. Sioux Falls responded with a pair of infield singles in the second to tie the game 2-2.
Sasser broke the tie in the fourth with a two-run homer, his second of the season, over the right field fence to make it 4-2 Sioux City.
From there, Tago (3-2) kept the Explorers in the lead. He tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking two. He tied his season-high in strikeouts with 12 and struck out the last five batters that he faced.
Tago was able to outduel Alex Boshers (5-6), who went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk any batters while striking out a season-high eight.
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The Canaries struck back in the eighth to make it a close ball game. Kevin Taylor collected his fourth hit of the ball game to keep the eighth inning alive for the Birds. That allowed Coulter to go the opposite way for his second home run in as many games with two outs in the eighth. The two-run blast made it a one-run ball game with the X’s on top 5-4.
Sasser began a big ninth-inning rally with his second home run of the ball game. Two outs later it was Kyle Wren who smashed one over the right field wall to put the X’s up 7-4. It was Wren’s eighth homer of the year.
The inning then unraveled for the Canaries. With a runner at first, Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a ball right into the shift but the grounder was bobbled for an error which extended the inning and turned the game into a blowout. Jose Sermo was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Drew Stankiewicz drove home a pair with a base hit. McCall did the same with his second double of the game and his fourth of the series. Sasser finished off the rally that he started with a double, driving home McCall to make it 12-4 X’s.
Sasser finished his big day with a pair of homers, a double and four RBI’s and two runs scored.
Sioux Falls added a run in the ninth off Matt Pobereyko as Graham Low drove home Burt Reynolds with a sacrifice fly to give the game its final score of 12-5.
Sioux City now has a day off on Wednesday before taking on the Cleburne Railroaders on Thursday night at 7:06 p.m. for the start of yet another important three-game series with the Railroaders.