LINCOLN – Brandon Jacobs hit a two run walk-off home run with a full count and two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Lincoln Saltdogs a 5-4 win over the Texas Airhogs.
The home run of the season could not have come at a more dramatic time.
The Lincoln Saltdogs were trying for a season-high third straight win with a 3-1 lead in the top of the 9th inning. The Texas Airhogs scored three runs to take a 4-3 lead and sent their closer Luis De La Cruz to the mound to finish the game. De La Cruz had not given up a hit in three innings pitched this season.
Brent Dean drew a walk after a fly out started the inning. Then, Ivan Marin struck out on a controversial strike three. Marin and Saltdogs Manager Bobby Brown argued that Marin had gotten a tip of the ball, but after a conference, the umpires stuck with the strike out ruling. Brown was ejected from the game after continuing to argue.
So, Jacobs was the last chance for the Saltdogs. The outfielder worked a full count and Dean stole second base. Next, Jacobs belted the 3-2 pitch over the fence in right center field for a walk-off victory.
It was the second home run of the season for Jacobs. The opposite field blast was the fifth go-ahead home run hit by the Saltdogs this season.
The Saltdogs scored first in the game, notching a run in the bottom of the 1st inning. Marin started the frame with a single and Jacobs followed with another base hit. Then, Cesar Valera hit a single past the third baseman to score Marin.
Texas answered with a run in the top of the 2nd. Ryan Wagner singled, stole second base and scored on a Ryne Willard double.
Saltdogs starting pitcher Seth Webster was brilliant, lasting six innings and allowing just one run on four hits. He tied a Saltdogs pitching staff season high with nine strikeouts.
Former seven-season MLB pitcher James Russell was solid in his start for the Airhogs. After giving up the 1st inning run he didn’t allow another score until the 6th inning. Christian Ibarra recorded a two-out single and moved to third base after center fielder Cameron Monger misplayed a Trever Adams fly ball. Then, Dashenko Ricardo ripped a base hit to left field that scored Ibarra and Adams.
The Saltdogs sent out closer Michael Wagner to shut down Texas in the 9th. He gave up three runs on three hits and three walks for a blown save. J.R. Bunda was put in to get out of the inning and ended up earning the win.
The Saltdogs try to win the series against Texas on Tuesday night with first pitch at 6:45 PM and coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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