WICHITA, Kan. — The Saltdogs (2-0) came back in the ninth inning to beat the Wichita Wingnuts (0-2) 4-3 in front of 3,863 fans at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium Friday night.
Trailing 3-2 heading into the ninth, Pat McKenna worked a one-out walk. After a Pat Kelly single, Christian Ibarra blooped a single to right to tie the game for the ‘Dogs.
Curt Smith, who homered earlier in the game, came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He fouled a ball off his knee, but a few pitches later was able to sprint out a ground ball to avoid a double play, allowing Kelly to score the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the ninth inning Brent Dean reached second base on a two-base throwing error to begin the inning.
Saltdogs closer Evan Reed buckled down, inducing a weak ground out and a strikeout to strand the tying runner at third and earn his first save.
Lincoln took a 2-0 lead before Wichita scored a run in the fourth and two in the sixth to take their first lead of the series.
Matt Brazis (1-0) pitched a hitless eighth to notch the win in relief.
Frankie Reed (0-1) allowed two runs in the ninth to suffer the loss.
Curt Smith finished the game 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Ibarra and Kelly each had two hits for the ‘Dogs.
*Correction on Saltdogs pitching lines from first edition of box score:
Larkins: 5.2 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K
Zeigler: 0.2 IP, H
Orosey: 0.2 IP, K
The clubs play game three of the four-game series Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Ryan O’Sullivan is slated to face RHP Tim Brown. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.
The ‘Dogs play their home opener May 27 at Haymarket Park against Winnipeg with a fireworks show after the game. Get your tickets now at www.saltdogs.com.