SIOUX CITY, IA – The Lincoln Saltdogs notched a six-run inning but lost 8-7 to the Sioux City Explorers in a game in which the decisive play was a ground ball to first base.
The Saltdogs’ (27-26) losing streak extends to five games, their longest since May 22-26, 2017. They have lost seven straight games to South Division opponents.
Lincoln experienced highs, like rattling off eight straight hits or striking out the side, but also lows like allowing unearned runs or hitting into a double play. The final run in the seesaw affair was tallied by Sioux City (40-13) in the bottom of the sixth. It was a tie game with Sioux City’s Jay Austin on second base and Nate Samson at the plate. He hit a grounder to first base. Dan Johnson fielded the ball and tossed to the covering pitcher Jake Hohensee. The reliever missed the base and Samson was safe. Baum hustled around to score the go-ahead run while Hohensee was arguing the call.
Sioux City scored the first runs of the game too. Michael Lang reached on an error by shortstop Christian Ibarra with one out. Then, Austin singled and Samson grounded out. Jose Sermo drew a walk to load the bases and Jay Baum cashed in with a two-RBI single to open the scoring.
The Saltdogs were held hitless through the first three innings but came to life in the fourth. Brandon Jacobs collected a one-out single to start a streak of eight straight hits. Ivan Marin drove in the first run with a bases-loaded single and Christian Ibarra delivered the big blow with a three-RBI double. The outburst gave Lincoln a 6-2 lead.
Sioux City answered right back. Saltdogs starter Kyle Kinman, who had struck out six of the last seven batters, walked the first two hitters in the fourth. Daniel Jackson hit them home with a double to cut the lead to two runs.
Austin and Samson started the fifth with consecutive hits. Dexture McCall doubled them home on a bloop double off reliever Derek Gordon to tie the game.
Lincoln reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth. T.J. Bennett doubled to start the frame and Randolph Oduber followed with a single. Two batters later, Dan Johnson drove Bennett home with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-6. It was Johnson’s first RBI as a Saltdogs player.
Sioux City scored the final runs in the sixth. Austin singled in Jackson before scoring on the ground ball by Samson.
Overall, Sioux City stole four bases and drew eight walks. The Saltdogs set a season-high with eight hits in one inning and tied their season-high by sending 12 batters to the plate in the fourth. The game lasted three hours and 35 minutes, the longest road game of the year for the Saltdogs.
Lincoln tries to break the losing streak on Sunday. First pitch is at 6:05 PM with coverage beginning at 5:35 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.