LINCOLN — Zachary Varce pitched well but the Wichita Wingnuts (10-3) pitched even better and capitalized on some shaky defense in a 4-2 win over the Saltdogs (4-10) in front of 3,721 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Wichita tied the game with an unearned run in the sixth, took the lead with another unearned tally in the seventh and put the game away with a David Espinosa RBI single in the eighth to make it 4-2.
Varce (0-2) threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing one earned on seven hits while striking out six and walking zero but took the loss.
Jason Van Skike (2-0) spun seven sterling innings, allowing one earned on eight hits to earn the win. Matt Nevarez walked two in the ninth but struck out two to pick up his fifth save.
Lincoln tied the game at 1-1 in the second thanks to four consecutive two-out singles, capped off by an Eddie Young liner to center to score Mitch Canham.
Mike Gilmartin went 2-for-4 as the Saltdogs dropped their seventh straight game to Wichita (dating back to 2014 and including the A.A.C.S.), and eighth game in a row overall.
The fans were treating to a rousing fireworks extravaganza set to the tune of “60’s” hits on the first of nine Fireworks Fridays at Haymarket Park this summer.
The clubs play game two of the weekend series Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. RHP Luis Chirinos (1-1, 6.55) will square off against LHP Charlie Lowell (0-0, 0.00). Radio coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
Saturday night is the first Souvenir Saturday, as fans receive a Nebraska Lottery Drawstring Koozie. Get your tickets now at www.saltdogs.com.