LINCOLN — For the second straight night, the Saltdogs (34-63) came within 10 feet of a walk-off homer as the Joplin Blasters (54-43) held on for a 6-3 win in front of 4,242 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Gilmartin clubbed a high fly ball to left field that was caught at the edge of the warning track by Steve Tinoco.
The Saltdogs fell behind 6-1 and rallied for two runs in the final two innings, on two Juan Medina singles.
Joplin plated three runs in the top of the first, highlighted by a Matt Padgett two-run homer.
Carlos Fuentes (4-1) pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on nine hits while fanning 10.
Chas Cunningham (0-4) yielded six runs in six innings to suffer the loss.
Matt Forgatch went 4-for-5, becoming the first Saltdogs player to reach 100 hits in 2015. Medina finished 3-for-5.
The Saltdogs wrap up the regular season with three games in Winnipeg, beginning Saturday evening at 6:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.