LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (18-22) rallied with power late, but could not overcome an early error-fest in a series-opening 7-4 defeat to the Wichita Wingnuts (28-14) in front of 4,395 fans at Haymarket Park Friday night.
Lincoln committed four of its season-high five errors in the first three innings, spotting Wichita four unearned runs as the 'Nuts grabbed a 7-0 lead.
Tim Brown (6-2) pitched 6 2/3 innings against his former club, surrendering four runs on eight hits to pick up the win. Matt Nevarez tossed a perfect ninth for his 12th save of the year.
Zachary Varce (2-3) went six innings, allowing seven runs – three earned – on eight hits to suffer the loss. Jake Meiers pitched three hitless innings of relief for the 'Dogs. Lincoln pitching allowed just one hit in the final 6 2/3 frames.
Kevin Howard launched a two-out home run to right in the sixth, his second of the year, to open Lincoln's scoring. Matt Forgatch added a three-run blast in the seventh, his fourth.
Brian Joynt, Howard and Eddie Young all had multi-hit nights for Lincoln.
J.T. Wise clubbed his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to lead off the second inning.
The clubs are back at it Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Joe Bisenius (2-2, 3.97) will be on the hill for Lincoln against RHP Justin Klipp (4-1, 1.60). A Pepsi Fourth of July Fireworks show follows the game. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.