LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs hit four home runs over two games and beat the Winnipeg Goldeyes 8-2 in both games of a doubleheader at Shaw Park on Thursday. The Saltdogs (8-6) won the series 3-1.
GAME ONE: Box Score
The first game began as a pitching duel between Mike Tamburino and Kevin McGovern. The Goldeyes (7-6) got on the board first. Grant Heyman doubled off Tamburino to start the bottom of the fourth inning. Reynaldo Rodriguez followed with a triple to knock in the first run of the game. Two batters later, Kevin Garcia notched an RBI by hitting a sacrifice fly to send in Rodriguez.
The Saltdogs’ bats woke up in the top of the sixth. McGovern hit Christian Ibarra hit with a pitch, Chad Hinshaw got a base hit and Chase Simpson walked to load the bases with one out. Curt Smith hit into a fielder’s choice against a relief pitcher and the second baseman airmailed the throw trying to get a double play. Two runs scored to tie the game.
The offense continued in the seventh, this time against closer Victor Capellan. The first two batters reached on a hit by pitch and walk before Ibarra singled to load the bases. Hinshaw came through with a bases-clearing triple to give Lincoln its first lead. Then, Angel Reyes launched a sacrifice fly to score Hinshaw and make it 6-2. Simpson drew another walk and Brandon Jacobs ripped an opposite-field home run to make it a six-run lead.
Eric Wooten pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh to finish the game. Lincoln inserted Jose Jose in a critical situation and the lefty retired all four batters he faced.
GAME TWO: Box Score
The Saltdogs continued their hot hitting at the start of the second game. Lincoln jumped on Goldeyes starter Edwin Carl in the first inning. Christian Ibarra began the game with a walk. Two batters later, Chase Simpson notched a hit to bring Curt Smith up. The veteran smoked a three-run homer to open the scoring. Then, Nathaniel Maggio singled to bring up Brandon Jacobs. The righty launched a towering homer over the center field wall to make it 5-0. It was Jacobs’ second home run in as many innings.
The Goldeyes got a run off Saltdogs starter Tyler Herron in the second. Kevin Garcia singled and Victor Cruzado walked. The runners advanced on a groundout and Garcia scored on an infield single by Gavin Stupienski to cut into Lincoln’s lead.
The Saltdogs tacked on another run in the fourth. Ivan Marin blasted his first home run as a Saltdogs player with a solo shot to left field.
Winnipeg caught the home run bug next and Josh Mazzola went deep to make it a 6-2 game.
The Saltdogs completed the scoring in the seventh. Smith reached with a two-out walk and moved up on a Maggio base hit. Jacobs got aboard after being hit by a pitch to put a runner at every base. Hinshaw notched another key hit with a two-RBI single to make it a six-run lead.
Tyler Herron earned the win by going five innings and allowing just two runs. Dimitri Kourtis pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Overall, the Saltdogs blasted eight home runs in the series to bring their season total to a league-leading 23 long balls. Lincoln has hit a home run in all but one game this season. Simpson and Ibarra have reached base in all 14 games.
Lincoln looks to continue its offensive onslaught in Sioux Falls. The Saltdogs start a three-game series against the Canaries tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Coverage begins at 6:30 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and saltdogs.com.