LINCOLN — Marquis Fleming led a three-armed shutout and Ian Gac slugged a record-setting walk-off homer as the Saltdogs (49-44) topped the St. Paul Saints (47-45) 1-0 in front of 3,803 fans at Haymarket Park Sunday afternoon.
With the score 0-0, Gac led off the bottom of the ninth inning and bashed a 2-2 pitch well over the left center field wall for his 23rd home run, to set a new franchise single-season record, surpassing Argelis Nunez’s total from 2010.
Marquis Fleming threw seven marvelous innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out eight. Jhonny Montoya worked a scoreless eighth and Marshall Schuler (4-6) spun a scoreless ninth to notch the win.
Nick Barnese pitched eight terrific innings of shutout ball for the Saints, before Mikey Mehlich (6-2) served up the fateful delivery to Gac in the ninth to suffer the loss.
The Saltdogs took three of five in the series, including two in walk-off fashion after a fielder’s choice proved victorious Thursday night.
Lincoln remains one behind Gary with seven to play, and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning seven of 10 in the season series.
The ‘Dogs are off Monday for the first time since July 29, and open a three-game series at Sioux Falls Tuesday night. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.