LINCOLN, NE – Brandon Jacobs launched a walk-off double with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to propel the Lincoln Saltdogs to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Dogs on Friday night at Haymarket Park.
Lincoln (20-14) trailed 4-2 with the bases empty and two outs in the ninth. Dogs (9-22) closer Kaohi Downing hadn’t allowed a run in his last 11 innings and had issued just one walk on the season. Dashenko Ricardo bounced a grounder into left field to keep the game going. Then, Nathaniel Maggio reached on an infield single to put the tying run on base. Christian Ibarra walked to load the bases and bring Cesar Valera to the plate. Valera, who hadn’t drawn a walk in eight games this season, worked a full count before earning a free pass. Jacobs fell down 0-2 but belted a double to the center field wall to knock in two more runs and secure the win. It was Lincoln’s third walk-off win of the season.
Jose Jose earned his third win of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Downing was charged with his second loss after blowing the save.
Chicago was the aggressor in the game. Jonathan Moroney reached on an infield single and advanced to second base on an error in the first at bat of the game. A grounder moved him to third base and he came in to score on a single from Trey Vavra.
The Dogs added to their lead in the third inning. Vavra reached on a two-out hit and Joe Benson reached on a walk. Dalton Blaser sent a run in on a single and Benson scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
They kept the offense coming in the fifth. Edwin Arroyo singled to start the inning and signal the end of starter Austin Robichaux’s night. Derek Gordon came on in relief and walked his first batter faced. Then, he induced a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly that scored a run. Catcher Dashenko Ricardo threw out a runner at third to end the inning.
The Saltdogs came alive in the seventh. Chase Simpson singled to start the frame but was erased on a fielder’s choice in the next at bat. Randolph Oduber drove in the new runner, Angel Reyes, with a double to put Lincoln on the board. The score broke a streak of 15 scoreless innings for the Saltdogs.
Lincoln continued to chip away in the eighth. Cesar Valera drew a walk and scored on a triple from Curt Smith to cut the deficit to two runs. The Saltdogs scored all five runs with two outs.
Eric Wooten pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Saltdogs to give the offense a chance in the ninth. The lefty gave up just one hit over 12 batters faced.
The Saltdogs try to follow up their dramatic win with a series-clinching victory on Saturday night. First pitch on Friday is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com.