LINCOLN — Kevin McGovern was terrific on the hill but the Joplin Blasters (16-8) scored two in the ninth and beat the Saltdogs (8-21) 6-5 in 11 innings in front of 4,744 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
Lincoln led 4-2 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning before Mitch Glasser singled to center field, then Jesus Solarzano mashed a two-run homer to left to tie the game at 4-4.
Joplin scored two runs in the 11th inning (which began with a runner on second base due to the international extra-inning tiebreaker rule) on two hits to take a 6-4 lead.
The Saltdogs quickly got a run back on a Curt Smith RBI single but Winston Abreu was able to end the game without any further damage to book his fifth save.
McGovern worked 7 1/3-plus innings, allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out four and walking four on 130 pitches but took a no-decision.
Conor Spink (1-3) stranded two inherited runners in the eighth but went on to take the loss after allowing four runs – three earned – on five hits in 3 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Victor Capellan (3-0) spun two shutout innings to earn the win in relief. Brian Joynt doubled to lead off the ninth but was stranded in scoring position after a botched bunt, a strikeout and a groundout.
Saturday marked the third game in seven days that went to the 11th inning. The Saltdogs went 1-2.
The Saltdogs have now dropped six straight and look to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. RHP Shairon Martis (1-1, 9.90) will face RHP Matt Parish (2-1, 4.66). Radio coverage begins at 12:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
On Father’s Day, adults run the bases after the game! Get your tickets for the June 21 game now at www.saltdogs.com.