LINCOLN, Nebraska – Curt Smith tossed a scoreless inning in his first professional pitching appearance, but the Saltdogs fell 14-5 to the Cleburne Railroaders at Haymarket Park on Saturday night.
Down by 10, Smith pitched the 8th inning and allowed just a one-out single to work a scoreless 8th inning, but Lincoln (48-44) suffered its most lopsided defeat since mid-June and Cleburne (49-41) clinched the tiebreaker, now with a 2.5-game lead on second in the South Division.
Ozzy Martinez hit a two-run homer to open the scoring in the 1st and Hunter Clanin doubled the lead with a two-run shot in the 2nd.
Justin Byrd cut the deficit with a solo homer in the 3rd, but Martinez cleared the bases with a double in the 4th and Skyler Ewing’s grand slam made it 11-1 in the 5th.
Greg Minier allowed a season-high nine runs on nine hits in four innings, walking two and striking out six. Josh Norwood allowed four runs in two innings, while Tyler Anderson tossed a scoreless 7th. After Smith pitched in the 8th, infielder David Vidal allowed a solo homer in the 9th.
Zak Taylor went 2-for-4 with a single and a double, while Curt Smith went 1-for-4 with a double. Justin Byrd had two hits – including a solo homer – and drove in two runs.
The Saltdogs and Railroaders wrap up the four-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., and pregame coverage begins at 1:05 p.m. 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.