KANSAS CITY, KANSAS – A pair of home runs off the bats of Nate Samson and Nick Franklin provided the X’s pitching staff with enough run support to down the Kansas City Monarchs for a second straight night, 4-2.
Kansas City jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when Pete Kozma scored on a wild pitch. And in the second JC Escarra crushed the first home run of the season for the Monarchs with a solo shot to push their lead to 2-0.
The X’s responded immediately in the top of the third when Nick Franklin hit his second homer of the season, a two-run no-doubter to tie the game at two. Nate Samson followed a batter later with a solo dinger to give the X’s a 3-2 lead.
Tyler Beardsley (1-0) made his return to the mound for Sioux City with a stellar outing to pick up the win. He fired five and two-thirds innings allowing just the two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
Opposing him was Akeem Bostick (0-1) who was handed the loss as he went five frames, allowing three runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
The X’s padded their lead in the seventh when Mitch Ghelfi led off the frame with a double to left. He advanced to third on the Monarchs lone error of the game and scored on a Samson sacrifice fly to right pushing the lead to 4-2 as Samson collected his second RBI of the game.
Sioux City’s bullpen of Kevin Lenik, Tyler Koch and Brandon Brosher bridged the gap to the ninth inning where Thomas McIlraith picked up his second save in as many games. He struck out Jan Hernandez with the tying run on base to finish off the Sioux City victory.
The Explorers will go for the season opening three game sweep on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City with first pitch scheduled for 3:00. Right hander Carlos Sierra gets the ball for the X’s, he’ll be opposed by southpaw Lewis Thorpe.