LINCOLN — Aaron Payne had three hits, including the game winner for his first professional RBI as the Saltdogs (9-22) edged the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (9-22) 4-3 in walk-off fashion in front of 2,151 fans at Haymarket Park Monday night.
The RedHawks scored a run in the 11th (which began with a runner on second base per the new adoption of the international extra-inning tiebreaker rule) to take a 3-2 lead.
With a runner on second, two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 11th, Brian Joynt smoked a single to center to score Mitch Canham to tie the game.
Following a Carlton Salters infield single, Payne stroked a base hit to center to score Joynt from second on a creative slide at the plate and win the game.
Conor Spink (2-3) pitched an inning, allowing an unearned run to get the win. Former Huskers pitcher Mike Nesseth (0-2) yielded two runs, one earned, in 2/3 of an inning to suffer the loss.
Payne finished the night 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, walk and a hit-by-pitch in his fourth professional game.
Joynt gave the Saltdogs a 2-1 lead in the seventh on a two-out, two-strike single to center.
Luis Chirinos pitched eight innings, allowing just two runs on three hits but took the no-decision. Saltdogs starting pitching has posted a 1.98 ERA through four games on the current home stand.
The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Saltdogs.
The clubs are back at it Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. for game two of the three-game series. RHP Jesse Smith (1-3, 3.32) will face RHP Tyler Herron (2-2, 4.25). Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR 1240.