NORFOLK, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning and held off the Sioux City Explorers for a 3-1 exhibition win in Norfolk on Saturday night.
Wet field conditions due to consistent misting forced the game to be shortened to a six-inning contest but hundreds of northeast Nebraskans braved the weather to watch the game. It was the first time professional baseball had been played in Norfolk.
Sioux City opened the scoring in the top of the third inning. Dre Gleason singled and David Kerian followed with a double. Then, Saltdogs starter Tyler Herron buckled down and just surrendered one run on a Dylan Kelly sacrifice fly. Herron went four innings and allowed one run on four hits with two strikeouts.
The Saltdogs answered in the bottom of the third. Ivan Marin started the frame with a base hit. Then, LJ Kalawaia walked and Angel Reyes reached on an error. Two batters later, Chase Simpson hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Marin and tie the game. Then, Brandon Jacobs walked and Brant Whiting hit a sharp grounder to first base. Dexture McCall misplayed the ball and two more runs scored to give Lincoln the 3-1 advantage.
Kyle Kinman and Dimitri Kourtis combined to throw two scoreless innings of relief to seal the win. The Saltdogs are 3-0 in the preseason.
The Saltdogs were outhit 7-3 but were able to secure the win largely because of defense. For the third straight game the ‘Dogs’ opponent has committed more errors than them. Tonight, Sioux City made two critical errors while Lincoln made just one.
Next, the Saltdogs have a day off before facing the St. Paul Saints on Monday and Tuesday in Minnesota.
The Saltdogs are set to begin their 18th season in Lincoln on Thursday, May 17th. For more information on the Saltdogs, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball. For ticket information visit https://saltdogs.com/tickets/ or call (402) 474-2255.