LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (53-45) swept a day-night double header with the Sioux City Explorers (46-52) Friday at Haymarket Park, winning by totals of 13-6 and 11-4 to take a half-game lead in the Central with two to play (three remain for Gary SouthShore).
Ian Gac hit three home runs, including a grand slam, with nine RBI during the twin-bill, to lead the Saltdogs’ 29 total hit onslaught. Gac slugged a three-run homer in the first inning, and a opposite field grand slam in the second inning of game one.
Gac’s 27 home runs now lead the American Association, even though the 29-year old has played in just 81 of the club’s 98 contests.
Nick Green (4-5) earned the win in game one while Marquis Fleming (10-3) worked six innings, allowing one run to grab the win in game two. Fleming became the 10th pitcher in Saltdogs history to reach the 10-win mark.
Jake Meiers and Justin Kuks each booked three-inning saves to wrap up blowout victories, with the first game beginning just after 11 a.m. and the nightcap starting at 7:05.
After dropping five of six, the Saltdogs have now won six of seven and their magic number to clinch the Central is two, with three days remaining. Gary plays game two it’s series at Winnipeg Saturday night.
The Dogs and X’s are off Saturday and continue the four-game series Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Joe Bisenius (6-2, 3.46) squaring off against RHP John Straka (8-5, 4.09). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.