LINCOLN — After clawing back from a deficit four times, the Saltdogs (47-41) ultimately succumbed to the El Paso Diablos (35-53) in the final at-bat 7-6 in front of 862 fans at Cohen Stadium Tuesday night.
Lincoln committed an error, then El Paso got a single followed by a Juan Apodaca single down the right field line to win the game.
The 'Dogs stranded 12 runners on base, matching a season-high. They also committed three errors, leading to two unearned runs, including the winning tally.
Marshall Schuler (7-2) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the victory. Danny Meszaros (3-2) allowed the unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to suffer the loss.
Mike Coles went 1-for-1 with three walks, a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and three runs scored. David Espinosa went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Brian Joynt with 3-for-5 with two doubles and a run against his former club.
Lincoln is now 3 1/2 games out of the wildcard lead with 12 games left on the schedule.
The clubs are back at it for game two of the three-game series Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. CDT. Moises Melendez (3-4, 4.01) will take the hill against Justin Kuks (1-1, 2.73). Radio coverage begins at 7:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.