LINCOLN — The Saltdogs squandered an early eight-run lead but battled back and won a seesaw game over the New Jersey Jackals 14-13 on a John Alonso walk-off single in front of 2,717 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
Lincoln was down to its final out with the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth before Stephen Holdren extended the game with a ground ball single to right. Brad Payne then stole second base before Leivi Ventura was intentionally walked.
After, the Saltdogs converted a double steal without a throw from Jackals catcher Jeff Lanning to move the tying run to third and winning run to second. Alonso lashed a one hopper into left field to drive in two and bring Lincoln the victory.
Pete Parise (3-0) pitched two innings of relief, allowing two runs while striking out four to pick up the win. Mike Zenko (0-2) surrendered two runs in 2/3 of an inning to suffer the loss.
Lincoln built a 9-1 lead after three innings before the Jackals pounced back to take a 10-9 edge in the top of the fifth.
The game featured five lead changes, and the Saltdogs scored a season-high 14 runs on a season-high 16 hits with four home runs.
Ventura went 2-for-4 with two home runs and four runs scored. Holdren went 4-for-6 with a home run and three RBI. Alonso finished the night 2-for-6 with a home run and five RBI. C.J. Beatty contributed with a 3-for-4 effort with two doubles and an RBI.
The ‘Dogs stole six bases combined (Payne with two, Joe Spiers with two) in the seventh and ninth innings.
The teams meet again for the finale of the three-game set at 5:05 pm on Sunday. Jino Gonzalez (0-2, 7.56) is expected to start against Kyle Greenwalt (1-0, 1.69). Radio coverage begins at 4:35 pm on KFOR 1240.
The Hot Weather Deal is on again for Sunday! Get two for one berm tickets to Haymarket Park by calling 402-474-2255 or visiting www.saltdogs.com.