LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (14-24) rallied for four two-out runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth but ultimately fell 12-8 in 12 innings to the St. Paul Saints (30-8) in front of 2,398 fans at Haymarket Park Wednesday night.
Aaron Payne worked a two-out walk in the last of the ninth with the ‘Dogs trailing 6-2 to spark the furious comeback, capped by a Curt Smith two-run double down the left field line.
After the clubs exchanged perfect frames in the 10th, and runs in the 11th, St. Paul erupted for five runs in the top of the 12th, starting with a Willie Argo two-run homer to right.
Mike Kvasnicka went 4-for-6 for the Saints with a homer, three doubles and six RBI. Matt Forgatch launched an opposite field homer to open the game’s scoring in the first, his first of the year.
Chris Peacock (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing two unearned runs (both runs scored were “free” base runners at second from the International Tie-breaker rule) to earn the win. Alex Sogard closed the game to book his first save.
Zac Westcott (0-1) pitched three-plus innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits to suffer the loss, with all the earned runs coming in his fourth frame of work.
The Saltdogs and Saints play the rubber game Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. LHP Kevin McGovern (2-1, 3.15) is slated to go against RHP Dustin Crenshaw (5-1, 1.78). Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.
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