LINCOLN, Nebraska – Ryan Long hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 5th, and the Saltdogs held on to even the series with a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Monarchs at Haymarket Park on Wednesday night.
Long’s two-run shot came in a three-run inning, and Lincoln (29-28) rallied to clinch the season series with one game to go tomorrow night.
Lincoln’s bullpen combined for 4.1 shutout innings in relief of Greg Minier, who allowed two runs – one earned – in his fifth start of the year. Carson Lance worked through 2.1 scoreless innings and earned his second win, while Josh Norwood pitched a scoreless 8th and James Pugliese earned his league-best 16th save in the 9th.
Long tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single in the 3rd before Justin Byrd tied the game once more with a sacrifice fly in the 5th.
Long’s homer came off of ex-MLB’er Justin Shafer, and put Lincoln up 4-2. All 10 of Long’s homers have come against right-handed pitchers, and Lincoln is now 22-1 when leading after five innings this year.
Byrd later extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single in the 7th inning, and the ‘Dogs improved to 7-4 against Kansas City (35-20) this season. No other team in the league has beaten the Monarchs more than three times.
Garett Delano went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in his professional debut out of Mercer University, while Forrestt Allday went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.
The ‘Dogs and Monarchs play the rubber match on Thursday night. First pitch time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and pregame coverage begins at 6:35 on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
The Saltdogs are celebrating their 20th season at Haymarket Park this season! All ticket and promotional information can be viewed at saltdogs.com.