GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — The Saltdogs (3-3) overcame a two-run deficit in the eighth and nearly duplicated the feat in the ninth, but ultimately fell to the Grand Prairie AirHogs (2-4) 6-5 in front of 4,876 fans at QuikTrip Park Tuesday afternoon.
After Lincoln tallied two runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 4-4, former big leaguer Jason Botts and Palmer Karr slugged back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the AirHogs back in front.
Eddie Young doubled down the third base line to lead off the ninth inning for the 'Dogs, and two batters later was singled in by Maikol Gonzalez to make it 6-5. Following a Trevor Martin single, Jon Gaston flew out and Ian Gac struck out as the Saltdogs stranded the possibly tying run at second base.
Brett Hunter (1-0) pitched 2/3 of a hitless innings in relief to pick up the win. Michael Click (0-1) allowed two runs in the eighth to suffer the loss. Dakota Watts gave up a run on three hits in the ninth but converted the save.
Joe Bisenius pitched superbly for Lincoln, going six innings while allowing one run on three hits while fanning seven and walking zero. The Omaha resident retired the final 11 hitters he faced.
Gonzalez finished 2-for-5 with a home run, stolen base and three RBI. The Saltdogs shortstop has registered multi-hit games in four of the season's first five contests.
The clubs play the series finale Wednesday morning at 10:35 a.m. RHP Eric Brooks (0-1, 3.00) will pitch for Lincoln against RHP Trevor Harden (0-1, 13.50) for Grand Prairie. Catch the play-by-play beginning at 10:30 a.m. on www.kfor1240.com or with the TuneIn app.
The Saltdogs host Winnipeg Friday, May 23 for their home opener at Haymarket Park with a fireworks show after the game. Tickets are available by calling 402-474-2255 or by visiting www.saltdogs.com.