LINCOLN, NE – The Sioux City Explorers scored 14 runs on 17 hits to beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 14-6 in a marathon game at Haymarket Park on Saturday night.
Austin Robichaux was charged with the loss in his Saltdogs (0-3) debut. The righty was roughed up for three runs in 1.1 innings despite giving up just one hit. He walked five of the 11 batters he faced leading to his early exit.
The X’s (3-0) didn’t have trouble with Robichaux’s replacement, Brian Smith, either. They jumped on the lefty for four runs on seven hits over 2.2 innings. Sioux City was ahead 7-0 before the Saltdogs scored in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Explorers continued the offensive production against the next three relievers, piling on nine runs on seven hits against Dimitri Kourtis, Leland Tilley and Kyle Kinman. J.R. Bunda threw a perfect inning in the ninth for the Saltdogs. ‘Dogs pitchers allowed runs in all but two frames and Bunda was the only pitcher to retire the side in order.
The Saltdogs defense didn’t do its pitching staff any favors either. They committed three errors and made other questionable decisions. Lincoln’s defense has made seven errors in three games.
The offense did provide some moments of hope for the Saltdogs. Chase Simpson broke a 13-inning scoreless streak with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth. That wasn’t all he did. The switch hitter was 4-4 with a single, two doubles, a home run and two RBIs. He added a walk to reach base in all five trips to the plate.
Christian Ibarra was also hot at the dish. He was 4-5 with a double and an RBI for the ‘Dogs. The infielder is hitting .600 through three contests.
The game saw 11 different pitchers and lasted three hours and 53 minutes.
The Saltdogs try to salvage one game from the opening set against the X’s tomorrow at 1:05 PM. Lincoln will throw Michael Tamburino and Sioux City counters with Justin Vernia.