Explorers hoping to secure their playoff spot on Labor Day finale after loss to the Saltdogs

Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 11:34 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Sioux City Explorers entered Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Lincoln Saltdogs in desperate need of a big win. With a victory, the X’s can secure the 4th and final playoff seed in the American Association’s West Division. However, if they get swept in their matchup against Lincoln, then the Saltdogs get the spot. After a disappointing loss on Saturday night, the X’s were hoping to bounce back in a big way and secure their ticket to the postseason.

Both teams would add a run to the board in the first inning. The Saltdogs’ Ryan Long would put up a triple before being driven in by Jason Rogers. Later on in the inning, the X’s would return the favor when Gabe Snyder drove in Danry Vasquez for an RBI single.

The X’s would come on strong in the early-middle innings, putting up a run each in both the third and fourth to take an early 3-1 lead. Ademar Rifaela would drive in Snyder for an RBI in the third, and Miguel Sierra would go yard to lead off the fourth.

The Saltdogs would get their bats going after that though. They would put up 3 runs in the 5th to take a 4-3 lead, with Rayder Ascanio securing an RBI and Rogers driving in 2 with a single to center field.

Lincoln would add more cushion to their lead in the 8th with a dominant inning, adding 4 more runs to the board. After 2 quick outs to begin the inning, the X’s would proceed to walk the next 3 batters to load the bases for the Saltdogs. They would score on the next batter after a questionable hit by pitch call, before another run would come in on yet another hit by pitch. Ascanio would then drive in 2 more with a centerfield single to put the score at 8-3 after 7 and a half.

The X’s would chip at the lead a little with a run in the bottom of the 8th off an RBI double by Rifaela, but were unable to score after that and would fall to Lincoln 8-4. With one final game against the Saltdogs left on the regular season schedule, the X’s now must secure the win on Labor Day, or be forced to watch the playoffs from home for the first time since 2018.