GARY, Ind. — The Gary SouthShore RailCats (2-2) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win over the Saltdogs (2-2) 6-5 in front of 2,031 fans at U.S. Steel Yard Sunday afternoon.
Saltdogs reliever Conor Spink loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and was a cleanly-fielded chopper away from getting away unscathed but Lincoln shortstop Brad Payne couldn't handle the short hop and the winning run scored for Gary.
Clay Zavada (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Spink (0-1) took the loss, allowing the unearned run in 1 2/3 innings of work.
The Saltdogs trailed for much of the day, until the top of the seventh when Jeremy Mayo belted a three-run home run to give the 'Dogs a 5-4 lead. Gary promptly tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a Chase Tucker infield single.
Dennis Raben hit another home run, an opposite field solo shot to lead off the fourth, his third of the weekend.
Mayo finished the day 2-for-4 with a home run and a double. Ian Gac turned in a multi-hit effort as well.
For the eighth time in the last 14 meetings between the two clubs, the game was decided by a single run. All six of the runs that scored for Gary reached base without a hit.
The Saltdogs open up a three-game series with the T-Bones in Kansas City Monday night at 7:05 p.m. Matt Bywater will face Aaron Tullo. Radio coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
Lincoln plays their home opener Thursday, May 23 at 7:05 p.m. against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Special opening day tickets are still available – Home Run Terrace seat, all you can drink Pepsis and all you can eat Fairbury Brand hot dogs – for just $12! Purchase now at www.saltdogs.com.