LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (32-26) got more terrific pitching and Curt Smith delivered the game winner in the eighth in a 2-1 victory over the Gary SouthShore RailCats (34-23) in front of 2,978 fans at Haymarket Park Wednesday night.
With two on, two out, and a 1-2 count in the bottom of the eighth, Smith hit a ground ball single through the right side of the infield to plate pinch runner Jeff Squier and give the 'Dogs a 2-1 lead.
Moises Melendez pitched six strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits, walking two and striking out a season-high eight. P.J. Zocchi (4-0) worked a scoreless eighth to earn the win. R.J. Rodriguez worked around a lead-off walk in the ninth to notch his 21st save.
Smith finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, and made an outstanding diving play at third, throwing a runner out from his knees to keep the game tied at 1-1 in the sixth.
Jon Gaston went 2-for-4 with a RBI. Stephen Douglas begin the eventual game-winning rally with a two-out single in the eighth, and finished the night 2-for-4 with a run.
The 'Dogs open up a four-game series at Wichita Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Stephen Bougher (2-2, 2.84) will face Justin Klipp (3-1, 2.68). Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.