LINCOLN, NE – Angel Reyes capped off a 10-run comeback with a three-run walk-off homer to carry the Lincoln Saltdogs to an 11-10 win over the Wichita Wingnuts at Haymarket Park Tuesday night.
The Saltdogs (2-3), who trailed 10-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, were down to their last strike in the bottom of the ninth. Reyes was down 0-2 with two outs and runners on the corners facing Wingnuts (2-2) righty James Campbell. He turned on the pitch and sent it over the left field fence for the first walk-off win of the season.
The game started in Wichita’s favor. Tony Thomas pounded a three-run homer off of Saltdogs starter Derek Gordon in the first inning.
The Wingnuts broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning. They pushed across seven runs on six hits including a three-run homer from Isaiah Aluko. Gordon was pulled and Kyle Kinman had to finish the inning.
The Saltdogs started to chip away in the next half inning. Down 10-1, the ‘Dogs scored two runs on a Nathaniel Maggio single and an error on Thomas. Christian Ibarra hit a solo homer in the fifth and three hits led to another run in the bottom of the sixth. They tallied another in the bottom of the eighth on a Reyes RBI single.
The Saltdogs bullpen combined to throw 5.1 scoreless and hitless innings of relief. Kinman, Brian Loconsole, Leland Tilley and Brian Smith worked around eight walks to keep Wichita at 10 runs.
Lincoln trailed 10-6 going into the bottom of the ninth. Brant Whiting was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Then, after a strikeout, Chase Simpson worked a walk to put two aboard. Next, Chad Hinshaw blooped a single to load the bases. Nathaniel Maggio knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly to make it 10-7. Brandon Jacobs kept it going with an opposite field single to drive in a run and trim the lead to two runs. Then, down to his last strike, Reyes blasted his second homer of the season to secure the comeback.
Smith earned the win by tossing two shutout innings of relief while Campbell was charged with the loss.
The Saltdogs continue the series with Wichita on Wednesday night at Haymarket Park. 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.