LINCOLN, Nebraska – 2B Nate Samson went 3-for-4 with a homer against his former team, and the Saltdogs beat the Sioux City Explorers 6-4 at Haymarket Park on Sunday afternoon.


Samson’s homer – a leadoff shot in the 8th – held up as the game-winning run after Sioux City (15-19) scored twice in the 9th inning. After Samson hit his fourth of the year, C Marshall Awtry made it 6-2 with his first professional homer.

Lincoln (15-17) won the rubber match and went 7-2 during a season-long nine-game homestand, sweeping the Sioux Falls Canaries and winning two of three against the Lake Country DockHounds and Explorers.

The ‘Dogs came from behind to win for the eighth time this year after Sioux City opened the scoring on a solo homer from 3B Jake Ortega in the 1st inning.

The ‘Dogs tied it with the first of two run-scoring hits from LF Aaron Takacs, who evened the score, 1-1, with an RBI double in the third inning. Takacs gave the ‘Dogs a lead with an RBI single in the 4th and DH Zane Zurbrugg walked with the bases loaded to give Lincoln a 3-1 lead later in the inning.

Sioux City got one run back on an RBI double from SS Miguel Sierra in the 5th but with runners on the corners and nobody out, LHP John Bezdicek limited the damage to just one and earned the win after 5 and 2/3 innings with just two runs allowed.

Lincoln made it 4-2 on a sacrifice fly from 1B Yanio Perez in the 7th inning before Samson and Awtry made it 6-2 in the 8th inning.

The Explorers cut the deficit to two in the 9th and put the tying run at second base, but RHP Matt Cronin recorded the final out and earned his third save of the year.

Lincoln now travels to Winnipeg, Manitoba tomorrow and will open a three-game series against the Goldeyes on Tuesday. First pitch from Shaw Park is scheduled for 6:30 and pregame coverage begins at 6:00 p.m.

The Saltdogs are back in 2023! Single-game tickets for all 50 home games are on sale now. Reserve your tickets now by calling 402-474-BALL (2255) or order on-line at