GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – The Lincoln Saltdogs and Texas AirHogs played 15 innings of baseball and split a doubleheader on Sunday night.
Rain postponed Saturday night’s game and the teams were supposed to begin at 4:00 PM on Sunday. Another rain shower delayed first pitch until 5:55 PM. The Saltdogs (42-43) and AirHogs (22-63) played until 11:22 PM and came away with the split.
Game One: Saltdogs 11 AirHogs 2
Lincoln jumped in front immediately in the first game. Christian Ibarra and Curt Smith each drew walks to keep the frame going. Then, Randolph Oduber belted a triple to drive in two runs. One pitch later, T.J. Bennett ripped a double to plate Oduber and make it 3-0.
The ‘Dogs built their lead further in the fourth inning. Oduber singled to start the frame. Next, he stole second base and moved to third on a throwing error. Bennett drove him in again, this time on a single.
Saltdogs starter Austin Robichaux carved up the AirHogs for the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. He retired the first two batters but couldn’t get the final out. Stewart Ijames and Casio Grider managed singles to bring up Greg Golson. The former Big Leaguer drove in both runners with a double. Then, Correlle Prime drew a walk to end Robichaux’s night. Reliever Derek Gordon struck out the final batter to end the side.
Lincoln answered with a huge sixth inning. The ‘Dogs scored seven runs on five hits and four walks. They equaled their season-high by sending 12 batters to the plate. They led 11-2 after the explosive inning.
Gordon finished of the game and retired all seven batters he faced.
Game Two (8 innings): Saltdogs 5 AirHogs 6
Lincoln grabbed the early lead in game two as well. Christian Ibarra and Brandon Jacobs each singled to start the third inning. Two batters later, Curt Smith reached on an error and a run came in. Then, T.J. Bennett blasted a three-run homer over the left field wall to make it 4-0. It was his 10th home run in just 43 games with the Saltdogs.
Saltdogs starter Dan Johnson cruised through the first four innings. The knuckleballer let up a run in the fifth. Han Jichao doubled and moved up a base on a single from Du Xiaoci. Next, Cao Yijie hit into a double play to knock in the AirHogs’ first run.
The Saltdogs tacked on another run in the sixth. Alex Glenn drew a walk, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a double from Ivan Marin to make it 5-1.
Lincoln’s top reliever, Jose Jose, came on for the sixth inning. Stewart Ijames reached on an infield single and Casio Grider drew a walk. Then, Greg Golson blooped a single to load the bases. Correlle Prime crushed a grand slam to tie the game.
The Saltdogs had runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings but couldn’t cash in. The AirHogs converted in the eighth. Grider singled off reliever Shairon Martis to start the inning. Golson followed with a base hit before Prime struck out. Grider stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Javion Randle to end the game.
The Saltdogs don’t play on Monday and start a three-game set with the Kansas City T-Bones on Tuesday. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com/stream.