LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (19-29) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come back and beat the Grand Prairie AirHogs (18-31) 8-7 in front of 3,647 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
Trailing 7-5 going into the last of the ninth, three of the first four hitters reached base before Ryan Wiggins smashed a single to center field to tie the game at 7-7.
With runners on the corners and one out, Aaron Payne belted an 0-2 pitch to right center for the game-winning hit, scoring Eddie Young from third to deliver Lincoln’s second consecutive walk-off victory, and its fourth straight win.
Casey Collins (1-0) pitched a hitless ninth to earn the win in his Saltdogs debut. Zach Dando (2-4) yielded three runs on four hits in 1/3 of an inning to blow the save and take the loss.
After Lincoln scored three runs in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead, Grand Prairie struck back with four runs in the top of the eighth. Matt Forgatch worked a two-out walk, his third of the game, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a Mike Gilmartin single in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-5.
Gilmartin finished 3-for-5 with a run and three RBI as five Saltdogs finished with multiple hits.
Game three of the four-game series is Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. LHP Kevin McGovern (2-3, 4.40) is expected to face RHP Logan Norris (2-3, 2.76). Radio coverage begins at 4:35 p.m. on KFOR.