LINCOLN, Nebraska – John Richy allowed two runs with a season-high nine strikeouts over 7.1 innings, Ryan Long broke a tie with a two-run homer in the 6th, and the ‘Dogs held on to beat the Houston Apollos 5-4 at Haymarket Park on Wednesday night.
Richy pitched into the eighth inning for his second consecutive start and allowed just two runs, and James Pugliese earned his 19th save after allowing two runs – one earned – with two strikeouts in the 9th.
The ‘Dogs have now won four consecutive games to tie their season high, and are also a season-best five games over .500.
Lincoln (37-32) fell behind on an RBI single from Hudson Bilodeau in the 1st, but tied the game in the 2nd before Forrestt Allday scored on an error to give Lincoln a 2-1 lead in the 3rd.
Houston (9-60) tied the game on Aaron Takacs’s solo homer in the 4th, before Long game the ‘Dogs a 4-2 lead in the 6th and Josh Altmann added an RBI double with two outs to make it 5-2 in the 7th.
The Apollos put the tying run at third base in the 9th inning. Dom DeRenzo made it 5-3 with an RBI single before Brian Dansereau scored on an error to make it 5-4. Pugliese struck out Collins Robinson to end the game and earn his fifth save against the Apollos.
Altmann’s double extended his on-base streak to 31 games – the third-longest run in the league this year – and he now has hits in nine consecutive games. Justin Byrd extended his hitting streak to six with a double in the 5th, while Skyler Weber had two doubles and Gunnar Buhner had his first multi-hit game of the year.
Both Cleburne and Sioux City lost on Wednesday, so Lincoln is now 1.5 games back of the Explorers for third place, and two games back of Cleburne for second place.
The ‘Dogs and Apollos wrap up the three-game series on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage will begin at 6:35 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.