LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs scored six runs in the third inning and coasted to a 10-3 series finale win over the Texas AirHogs on Sunday afternoon.
The Saltdogs (38-41) scored three or more runs in an inning six times in the four-game series, including three six-run efforts. Lincoln’s bats pounded across 36 runs to take three out of the four games from Texas (20-59).
Dashenko Ricardo jump-started the ‘Dogs’ offense in the third inning. The catcher fouled a ball off his leg and was down for a couple minutes. After staying in the game, he cranked a solo homer to start the scoring. The next two batters struck out before an onslaught of hits came through. Christian Ibarra, Brandon Jacobs and Randolph Oduber registered three straight two-out hits to generate a run. Then, Curt Smith knocked a triple off the wall to plate two more. T.J. Bennett ripped a two-run homer in the next at bat to make it 6-0. Bennett has homers in three straight games and has gone deep seven times in his last 10 home games.
Texas crept back in the game in the fourth and fifth innings. Saltdogs starter Austin Robichaux walked in a run and Han Jichao singled across another in the fourth. AirHogs slugger Dillon Thomas went deep for a solo homer in the fifth to trim the Saltdogs’ lead to three runs.
Robichaux lasted six innings and allowed three runs on six hits. He earned the win and notched his fourth straight quality start.
The Saltdogs’ built their lead with another big inning in the sixth. Ivan Marin started the action with a two-out double. Two walks later, Oduber stepped up with the bases loaded. The righty belted a bases-clearing double to make it 9-3.
The Saltdogs tacked on a final run in the eighth. Jacobs and Oduber singled before Smith drove in a run with another base hit. Smith was 4-5 with three RBIs.
Jose Jose recorded his 11th save by tossing the final three innings of the game. He retired all nine batters he faced and tallied three strikeouts. He sent down all 15 batters he faced in the series.
The Saltdogs have won consecutive series for the first time since June 8-14 when they beat Cleburne and Texas in back-to-back sets.
Lincoln doesn’t play on Monday before beginning a three-game series in Wichita on Tuesday. First pitch against the Wingnuts at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.