SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Jason Rogers had three two-out RBIs, and the ‘Dogs beat the Sioux City Explorers 8-4 at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the ‘Dogs clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker and now sit one game behind Sioux City with one game remaining – making Monday’s finale a winner-take-all for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
Lincoln (48-51) took an early lead on a two-out single from Jason Rogers in the 1st inning.
Sioux City (49-50) tied the game on Gabe Snyder’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 1st, and the Explorers then took the lead on Ademar Rifaela’s RBI groundout in the 3rd. Miguel Sierra’s leadoff homer in the 4th made it 3-1 and was the first homer hit by either team in the series.
The ‘Dogs took the lead for good on three unearned runs in the 5th inning. Welington Dotel reached on a one-out error from Sierra, followed by a walk from Justin Byrd. Rayder Ascanio then hit an RBI single to right before Rogers added two more with a two-out single that gave Lincoln a 4-3 lead.
The ‘Dogs added four runs of insurance in the 8th inning. With two outs and nobody on, Brandon Brosher allowed three consecutive walks before Welington Dotel and Justin Byrd were hit back-to-back with the bases loaded. Up 6-3, Ascanio added two more with a single up the middle.
Garett Delano allowed three runs – two earned – over six innings, while Matt Cronin finished the game with a six-out save. R.J. Fruere struck out two in the 7th inning.
The ‘Dogs and Explorers will wrap up the regular season Monday, with the winner clinching the final playoff spot in 2022. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m., and pregame coverage begins at 1:35 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
The Saltdogs are playing their 21st season in Lincoln! Visit saltdogs.com and follow us @saltdogsball on all social media for information regarding tickets and promotions all season long.