WICHITA, Kan. — The offense busted out of its slump but the pitching was not there as the Wichita Wingnuts (61-26) out slugged the Saltdogs (46-41) 15-10 in front of 1,907 fans at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Tuesday night.
Lincoln trailed 6-3 after the first inning, but were able to chip away until taking a 9-8 advantage on a Jon Gaston three-run homer in the seventh, his 11th of the year and second in as many nights.
The lead was short lived as Lincoln struggled to find outs defensively all evening, with Wichita plating seven of the game’s next eight to clinch the series.
Mike Zouzalik (4-0) was awarded the win in relief. Jhonny Montoya (3-2) allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning to suffer the loss.
Gaston finished the night 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and four RBI. Brian Joynt went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Luis Nunez, Matt Forgatch, and Mike Gilmartin all posted multi-hit games in a 14-hit loss.
After Marquis Fleming surrendered six in the opening frame – more than the All-Star had allowed in any total outing all year – he settled down for five innings of two-run ball to keep the Saltdogs in the contest.
Gary SouthShore now trails the Saltdogs by 1/2 of a game for the Central division lead with less than two week of regular season play remaining.
The Saltdogs look to avoid the series sweep Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Nick Green (3-5, 4.98) will take the hill against LHP Anthony Capra (5-2, 2.38). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.