LINCOLN – The Lincoln Saltdogs and the Gary SouthShore RailCats split a pair of one-run games in a doubleheader on Saturday night.
Ben McKendall earned the win as the Saltdogs claimed the first game 4-3 and Jorge de Leon recorded the win for the RailCats in a 5-4 nightcap. The RailCats extra-innings win in game two snapped the Saltdogs’ franchise record 12-game home winning streak.
Game One: 9 inn Saltdogs 4 RailCats 3
The first game resumed a rain-suspended contest from Friday night. The teams were scoreless entering the bottom of the fifth inning when the game picked up at 6:00 PM on Saturday. The first run came in the bottom of the sixth. Brendan O’Brien led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Then, Brandon Jacobs knocked him home with a base hit to make it 1-0.
The RailCats jumped on top in the top of the seventh inning. They got a two-out single from Reggie Wilson with the bases loaded to give them the 2-1 advantage.
The lead flipped again in the bottom of the seventh. Randolph Oduber started the frame with a double down the right field line. Then, Dashenko Ricardo reached on an infield single to bring up Ivan Marin. The Saltdogs shortstop showed bunt on two pitches but couldn’t lay one down. On the third pitch, Marin showed bunt, pulled it back and then ripped a single up the middle to score Oduber. Cesar Valera added to the scoring by hitting a line drive single with two outs to score Christian Ibarra and Marin.
The RailCats started a comeback in the top of the ninth inning. John Holland doubled off of Saltdogs closer Michael Wagner to start things. Then, pinch hitter Collin Willis singled to move Holland to third. Anthony Cheky hit a fly ball to foul territory that Marin laid out to catch. Holland tagged up to score and make it a one run game. Wagner buckled down and retired the next two batters to get his fifth save of the year.
Game Two: 8 inn Saltdogs 4 RailCats 5
The Railcats jumped in front in game two which was scheduled to last seven innings. Alex Crosby singled and Ryan Fitzgerald followed with a double to start the top of the second. They both scored on wild pitches during the next at bat. But, the next at bat would have scored them anyway as Randy Santiesteban homered off of Saltdogs starter Derek Gordon.
Marin helped drag the Saltdogs back in the game. The shortstop singled Oduber home in the second inning and sent Brent Dean in to score in the fourth to make the score 3-2.
The Saltdogs tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Brandon Jacobs started it off with a single and Curt Smith followed with a base hit two batters later. Then, Trever Adams hit a grounder through the left side of the infield to plate Jacobs and even the score.
The RailCats pulled on top in the seventh inning. Andy DeJesus doubled and Wilson followed with single. Cheky notched the third straight base hit to score DeJesus. Fabio Martinez was inserted with bases loaded and on outs and the Saltdogs’ flamethrower retired the next three batters in order to keep it a one run game.
The Saltdogs late game magic appeared to continue in the bottom of the seventh inning. RailCats closer Jorge de Leon retired the first two batters and worked a 2-1 count to Trever Adams. Then, the slugger bombed a solo homer to right-center field to tie the game at four runs. It was his seventh home run of the season and his sixth in the last ten games.
The Saltdogs and RailCats face off in a rubber match on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is at 2:05 PM with coverage beginning at 1:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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