LINCOLN — After spotting the Sioux Falls Canaries (26-52) seven runs in the first, the Saltdogs (40-35) stormed back to win their fifth straight game 8-7, assuming a share of the Central division lead, in front of 3,362 fans at Haymarket Park Thursday night.
Marshall Schuler spun a scoreless ninth to lock down his franchise-record setting 28th save of the year, and fifth save in five games. The 26-year old righty has worked 40 of the club's 75 games thus far, with just three blown assignments.
The 'Dogs scored five runs in the second inning: on a Mike Gilmartin two-run double; a Matt Forgatch two-out, two-run single and a Luis Nunez two-out, RBI double.
After adding a run in the third, Lincoln took the lead on a missile of a two-run homer to center from Ian Gac, his 18th, on a play that was initially ruled a double off the top of the wall.
Sioux Falls manager Steve Shirley was ejected in the bottom of the seventh for arguing after the game-tying double call was reversed to a go-ahead home run.
Gac has now hit safely in 18 consecutive games.
Jhonny Montoya (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory. Trey Barham worked a perfect eighth inning.
Joe Testa (0-3) allowed two runs on one hit in one inning to take the loss.
The Saltdogs are percentage points ahead of the RailCats for first place, with one fewer loss in two fewer games played.
Lincoln goes for its sixth straight win Friday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Marquis Fleming (8-3, 3.18) will be on the hill against LHP Joe Bircher (3-6, 3.87). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
Friday night is Saltdogs Baseball Giveaway at Haymarket Park from Crete Carrier, for the first 2,000 fans. Great seats are still available at www.saltdogs.com.