LINCOLN – The Lincoln Saltdogs open their 2017 season tonight at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, KS against the Kansas City T-Bones. The Saltdogs franchise is hoping to win its second league championship in its 17th season of baseball.
Manager Bobby Brown returns for his second season along with Pitching Coach Dan Reichert and Hitting coach Tom Carcione to lead the Saltdogs. Brown and his staff improved the team’s win total by 18 games from the ’15 campaign on the way to a 52-48 finish last year.
Bennett Parry gets the nod as the ‘Dogs Opening Night starting pitcher. The 6’6” southpaw started four games for Lincoln last season and went 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA before sitting out the rest of the season with an injury. The San Diego native pitched five seasons in the Orioles organization and boasts a 2.75 career ERA.
Another familiar name on the Saltdogs’ roster is veteran Curt Smith. The infielder is coming off of an All-Star season in which he raked 17 home runs and notched a .331 batting average. Fans will enjoy watching Smith climb the career record charts this season as he ranks in the top five in most offensive categories.
Smith, along with Saltdogs Randolph Oduber, Dashenko Ricardo and former Saltdogs pitcher Shairon Martis, played for the Netherlands in this spring’s World Baseball Classic. Their superb play helped lead the Dutch team to the semifinals where they lost 4-3 in 11 innings to Puerto Rico.
The Saltdogs open 2017 on a six game road trip. After three games against the T-Bones, the ‘Dogs will head to Sioux City to face the X’s in a three game set.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05 PM and the game can be heard on ESPN 1480 AM or online at Saltdogs.com. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
The home opener for the Lincoln Saltdogs is Thursday, May 25th at Haymarket Park against the Cleburne Railroaders. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.