LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs gave up a go-ahead run to David Kerian in the eighth inning lost 6-5 to the Sioux City Explorers for the second straight night at Haymarket Park.
Saltdogs (29-29) reliever Derek Gordon had a full count with two outs and the bases empty against Kerian in the eighth. The switch-hitter, who had just one homer this season, launched the next pitch over the right field fence to give Sioux City (43-15) the lead.
Lincoln scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Randolph Oduber started the frame with a base hit. Dashenko Ricardo notched a single two batters later before Christian Ibarra drove Oduber in with a single up the middle.
Saltdogs starting pitcher Austin Robichaux tossed four shutout innings before getting knocked around in the fifth. Dylan Kelly singled to start the inning and Kerian drew a one-out walk. Then, Luis Durango doubled in both runners and Michael Lang singled home Durango to make it 3-1.
Lincoln responded with an outburst in the next half inning. Cesar Valera blasted a two-run homer to tie it up. Two batters later, Curt Smith launched a two-run homer to give Lincoln the 5-3 lead. Valera’s shot was the first home run hit by someone besides Ibarra or Oduber since July 3rd. Smith’s long ball was his team-high 12th dinger.
Sioux City tied it back up in the seventh. Durango lined a base hit to start the inning then Michael Lang reached on a bunt single. Jay Austin laid down another bunt and Gordon, the pitcher, threw it wildly to first base. The error let both runners score to tie it up. Kerian hit the game-winning homer in the next inning.
X’s relievers Patrick Schuster and Eric Karch combined to retire eight of the last nine batters to thwart a Saltdogs comeback.
The Saltdogs fall to .500 on the season for the first time since May 29th when they were 6-6.
The game was played in three hours and 13 minutes in front of 4,844 people.
Lincoln tries to win the series finale on Sunday. First pitch is at 1:05 PM with coverage beginning at 12:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com/stream.