LINCOLN — David Espinosa’s lawn dart tucked neatly inside the left field paint line, scoring Mike Provencher with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Saltdogs (21-33) a 5-4 walk-off win over the El Paso Diablos (20-32) in front of 3,673 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
With two outs and the bases empty in the last of the ninth, Provencher chopped a single to left. Espinosa delivered the game-winner on a 3-2 pitch.
The Saltdogs bullpen combined to pitch four shutout innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Brandon Cooney (4-2) worked a perfect ninth inning to earn the win. Conor Spink went 1 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit. Tycen Po Vey tossed 1 2/3 innings with two hits and two strikeouts.
Lincoln trailed 4-2 heading into the seventh inning. A.J. Miller’s solo home run to right pulled the ‘Dogs to within a run, then Asif Shah’s two-out RBI single to center in the eighth evened the score.
Reyes Dorado (0-2) allowed two runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief to take the loss.
Jimmy Rohan went 3-for-3 with a RBI in the win.
The Saltdogs kept a clean sheet defensively, playing their first errorless ballgame since June 28.
The teams meet again Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. for the finale of the four-game series. Wade Mackey (3-0, 4.86) will return from the disabled list to start for the ‘Dogs. Radio coverage begins at 4:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
8th Annual Motorcycle Night at Haymarket takes place tomorrow! For more information visit www.starcitymotorsports.com.