5/18/2021-Sioux City, IA (May 18, 2021) The Sioux City Explorers began their long waited 2021 season on a high note with a comfortable 6-1 victory over the Houston Apollos after a full year of not playing due to COVID-19.

The Xs began their scoring in the bottom of the second inning, when Jared Walker worked a two out walk to become Sioux Citys first base runner. A Joseph Monge single, moved Walker to third who then scored on a Chris Clare base hit to give the Xs their first run of the season.

Following in the bottom of the second Chris Harris walked to open the frame and Michael Lang moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Harris then stole third making it easy for Nate Samson to bring him home with a single to make it 2-0 Sioux City.

The crooked third inning continued, as a Jose Sermo bloop single pushed Samson to third, who jogged home after a Sebastian Zawada single to left making it 3-0. Walker, who got the two out rally in the second inning, started with a walk then doubled the Explorers advantage with a towering home run to right field.

The six run cushion was more than plenty for right hander Zach Hedges (1-0) who carried six shutout innings scattering three hits and one walk while striking out one. From there the Explorers went to the new faces of their bullpen for the final three frames. Matt Quintana struck out the side in a perfect sixth. Samson Abernathy allowed only a single run in the eighth. And Brandon Brosher slammed the door shut on Houston with a one, two, three ninth.

Taking the loss for Houston was their starting pitcher Abdallah Aris (0-1) as the southpaw started the game strong, fanning three of the first five batters he set down in order. But was quickly figured out by the Sioux City lineup. Going 2.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits, with two walks and four punch outs.

The Explorers begin the season 1-0 and will take on the Houston Apollos again Wednesday, May 19th, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm at MercyOne field at the Lewis and Clark Park. Right hander Tyler Beardsley will make his Explorers debut on the mound.

Sioux City Explorers 6 Houston Apollos 1

This game was played on 5/18/2021 at Lewis and Clark Park