LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs (54-32) surrendered four runs in the final two innings to lose 5-4 to the Gary SouthShore RailCats (50-38) in front of 6,438 fans at Haymarket Park.
It was Lincoln Public Schools day so the entire fifth grade field tripped to Haymarket Park. They were entertained throughout the game by demonstrations and games coordinated by the HyVee Fit Kids program.
Gary SouthShore scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Joey Havrilak and Cameron Newell each singled to bring up Colin Willis with two outs and two on base. The lefty hit a liner up the middle to knock in the first run.
The first-inning run was the only run allowed by Saltdogs starter Shairon Martis. The righty worked seven innings and only gave up four hits. He walked one batter compared to six strikeouts.
The Saltdogs answered back in the bottom of the second inning. Brandon Jacobs started the frame with a double and advanced to third on a base hit from Juan Martinez. Two batters later, Christian Ibarra hit a single through the left side to tie the game.
The next scoring came in the bottom of the sixth. After a Jacobs single, Martinez blasted a two-run homer to left field to give Lincoln the 3-1 lead.
Cameron McVey, the Saltdogs setup man, relieved Martis to pitch the eighth. He gave up a base hit and a walk to put runners at second and third with two outs. Newell hit a grounder that Martinez misplayed allowing two runs to score and tie the game.
Gary SouthShore took the lead again in the ninth. Closer Michael Wagner gave up a leadoff homer to Colin Willis to make it 4-3. Two walks later, Alex Crosby had the game-winning two-out single to score an insurance run that made it a two run lead.
Ibarra walked to start the bottom of the ninth but was erased on a double play. Then, Joe Robbins hit a home run to cut the lead to one run. Two batters later, Curt Smith flew out to right field to end the game.
It was the sixth straight game in which the Saltdogs have hit multiple home runs. Robbins has homers in three straight games and five long balls in the last two weeks.
The Saltdogs try to earn a series split against the RailCats on Thursday night. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.