Sioux City, Iowa — Thursday night was another “slugfest” in the American Association South Division Championship series but unlike the first game of the series it was a one-sided affair.
Sioux City right hander Eric Karch (1-0) tossed eight shutout innings, while the Explorers (1-1) offense rode a five-run fifth to an 11-0 blanking of the Kansas City T-Bones (1-1) to even the best-of-five game series at one game each.
The T-Bones allowed 11 walks while giving up 10 hits to Sioux City in the loss.
Jose Mesa Jr. got the start for KC and worked four innings giving up three earned runs.
The X’s took the lead off the right-hander in the home half of the first on a fielder’s choice RBI off the bat of Jeremy Hazelbaker. Two innings later the former big leaguer was at it again launching a solo home run to right to make it 2-0 Sioux City.
In the bottom of the fifth the X’s blew the game wide open. Mesa surrendered a lead-off single to Nate Samson and left the game.
Left-handed pitcher Evan Korsan struck out Hazelbaker, but after a wild pitch, Jose Sermo hit a double to score Samson, giving Sioux City a 3-0 lead.
Korsan was able to retire Dexture McCall on a fly to center for the second out but two straight walks allowed Sioux City to load the bases. Adam Sasser then drew the third straight walk for Korsan to bring in a run to make it 4-0 Sioux City.
Kyle Wren hit a double to left that skipped under a diving Casey Gillaspie.
Wren drove in three runs clearing the bases to make it 7-0 Explorers. The T-Bones never recovered in the game.
Sioux City added another pair in the seventh and eighth off the T-Bones pen.
Karch was superb for Sioux City, retiring 11 batters in a row at one point, holding KC to just four hits in a 109-pitch performance.
Following an off day for travel the series will resume in Kansas City this weekend.
Game three is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at JustBats Field at T-Bones Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. Game four is set for 5:05 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8. Game five, if necessary, will be at 7:05 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at T-Bones Stadium.
The games will be broadcast on T-Bones Broadcast Network, http://mixlr.com/t-bones-baseball/.
Tickets to all T-Bones home playoff games are $8 and are on sale now online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the Saint Luke’s Box Office between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Group ticket sales are also on sale.