Credit John Ellis Kansas City T-Bones
09/09/2019 12:13 AM -

By Dan Vaughan

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City T-Bones” (1-3) magical run that saw the team eight games out of first place on August 7th only to take the American Association Division regular season title on the final weekend of the season ended in game four of the best-of-five game South Division Championship Series in heartbreaking extra inning fashion The Sioux City Explorers (3-1), behind some lights-out pitching and the bat of 2018 league MVP Jose Sermo, outlasted the T-Bones 5-2 in 13 innings Sunday night at JustBats Field at T-Bones Stadium..

Sioux City took advantage of back-to-back two-out walks in the first inning. Nate Samson and Jeremy Hazelbaker worked walks off Jon Perrin to set up Jose Sermo. The X’s third baseman doubled to drive in a run, and it was 1-0 Sioux City. Perrin would work two innings as KC went to the pen in the third inning. 

Akeem Bostick took over and retired the first six batters he faced until the top of the fifth. Sebastian Zawada hit a solo shot to left to make it 2-0 Sioux City. But KC would fight back in the home half of the inning, finally getting a run off Sioux City starter Taylor Jordan. Ramsey Romano singled with two outs then stole second base. Dylan Tice then drove him home with an RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1. Jordan would work into the seventh, scattering five hits to keep the X’s in the lead.

In the bottom of the eighth lefty Jose Velez gave up a lead-off double to Danny Mars. Tyler Fallwell came into the game for Sioux City to face Daniel Nava with one out. Nave hit a hard single down the left field line to drive in Mars to tie the game at two. 

Hunter Smith would work two scoreless innings for Kansas City, and he would be followed by Henry Owens, who would work another scoreless inning.  Carlos Diaz worked another two scoreless innings for the T-Bones but left after getting the final out of the top of the tenth with a leg injury on his final pitch. In the home half of the ninth, the Explorers pen was turned over to closer Matt Pobereyko (1-0), who shut out Kansas City for four innings. 

Andrew DiPiazza (0-1) took over in the top of the 11th for Kansas City. He worked around a two-out hit in the 11th and a two-out hit batter in the 12th. In the top of the 13th the X’s took control of the game. DiPiazza struck out Drew Stankiewicz, but Nate Samson would follow with a single to left. Hazelbaker then put down a bunt single that he would beat out to put runners at first and second. That set the stage for Sermo to hit a bases-clearing double. The ball was a liner to right that Stewart Ijames dove for but just got under him to give the Explorers the 4-2 lead. Sermo would go to third on the throw back into the infield and would come home on a sac fly from Dexture McCall to close out the scoring. 

The T-Bones went in order in the bottom of the 13th and would drop the series three games to one. Pobereyko was the winner while DiPiazza was charged with the loss. The X’s Sermo would finish the series going 6-for-16 with eight RBI as the Explorers move on to the American Association Championship Series to face the winner of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and the St. Paul Saints who will play a fifth and deciding game on Monday night in St. Paul.


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