LINCOLN, NE – Randolph Oduber smacked a bases-loaded hit in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Lincoln Saltdogs a 5-4 win over the Chicago Dogs in an 11-inning series finale. It was the Saltdogs’ (22-14) second walk-off win of the series and their fourth of the season. The victory completed the sweep of the Dogs (9-24), Lincoln’s first sweep since May 22-24th against the Wichita Wingnuts.
Curt Smith started the bottom of the 11th with a base hit off reliever Kaohi Downing. Then, he stole second base and moved to third on a hit from Chase Simpson. The Dogs intentionally walked Nathaniel Maggio to load the bases. Chicago brought in their left fielder to play a third infield position trying to prevent a ground ball from getting to the outfield. Oduber (pronounced OH-duh-BER) punched the first pitch he saw over the head of the left fielder to secure the win.
Chicago raced out to the early lead. Saltdogs starter Joey Wagman, pitching in his first game for Lincoln, walked the first two batters he faced. Next, Trey Vavra singled in the first run of the game. Wagman got the next two batters to pop out and caught Vavra in a pickle to get out of the inning.
Wagman settled in to strike out four batters and give up just two hits over the next three innings but ran out of gas in the fifth. Matt Telesco singled and scored on a double from Mike Falsetti. Then, Falsetti reached the plate on a base hit by Jonathan Moroney to make it 3-0. Reliever Dimitri Kourtis came on and induced a double play to end the frame.
Lincoln answered back in the bottom of the fifth. Oduber and Brant Whiting each collected base knocks to bring Christian Ibarra to the plate. The leadoff hitter launched a three-run homer, his fifth of the season, to tie the game.
The Dogs reclaimed the lead in the seventh. Josh Goosen-Brown started the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second base. Pinch runner Matt Dean scored on a Falsetti single to make it 4-3.
The Saltdogs had the response in the next half inning. Dashenko Ricardo powered a homer over the left field wall in the first at bad of the side to even the score.
Relievers Derek Gordon, Jose Jose and Shairon Martis combined to pitch 4.2 scoreless innings to give the Saltdogs bats a chance to get the winning run. The trio of relievers allowed just one hit and struck out four batters.
The Saltdogs defense didn’t make an error in the final two games of the series. Lincoln turned five double plays on Sunday, tying their season-high.
The Saltdogs have Monday off before traveling to South Division-foe Kansas City on Tuesday. First pitch against the T-Bones is at 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com.