SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Saltdogs (7-7) battled back from an early six-run deficit but the Sioux Falls Pheasants (6-7) pulled away late in a 12-6 series-opening victory at The Birdcage Thursday night.

Lincoln worked hard to tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth, using: John Alonso’s sixth home run of the year, a three-run double by Joe Spiers, and a run-scoring double by Brad Payne.

Mark Shorey launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and Sioux Falls went on to tally the game’s final six runs to win convincingly.

Matthew Sommo (1-1) went six innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits to pick up the win. Chandler Barnard (0-2) allowed six earned on nine hits in five innings to suffer the loss.

The Saltdogs committed four errors and are now 0-5 in series openers on the season.

As a team in bases loaded scenarios this year, Lincoln is 5-5 at the plate with 14 RBI.

The clubs meet again Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for game two of the four-game series. Justin Edwards (0-0, 12.66) is expected to pitch against Mark Michael (1-1, 5.40). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.

The ‘Dogs return home to Haymarket Park Monday, June 4 against Winnipeg. It is a ‘Military Monday,’ featuring free reserved tickets for all Military personnel and their families. For ticket information call 402-474-BALL or visit