LINCOLN, NE – The Lincoln Saltdogs smacked 17 hits and beat the Texas AirHogs 13-4 in front of 3,571 fans on Git-R-Done Night at Haymarket Park.
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Comedian Larry the Cable Guy entertained the crowd by participating in in-game activities throughout the night. The Nebraska native threw out the first pitch, coached first base, worked as the PA announcer and joined on the radio broadcast.
Larry’s first base coaching worked because the Saltdogs’ (47-47) offense got going early. The first two batters in the home side of the first inning drew walks. Then, T.J. Bennett drilled a three-run home run to give the Saltdogs the early lead. It was his 11th blast of the season.
Lincoln kept rolling in the second inning. Ivan Marin started the inning with a single and stole second base. Three batters later, Curt Smith drove Marin and Bennett home with a triple. Next, Randolph Oduber crushed a two-run homer to make it 7-1.
Texas (25-69) tallied its first run in the third inning. The AirHogs managed three hits and scored a run a Casio Grider groundout.
The Saltdogs put it out of reach in the fourth. They batted around and pushed in five runs on six hits. Dan Johnson provided a two-RBI double and Lincoln connected four straight hits. They led 12-1 after four innings.
The AirHogs netted more runs in the top of the fifth. Saltdogs starter Austin Robichaux allowed four straight hits that led to three runs to make it 12-4. Robichaux was solid, though, lasting seven innings and holding Texas to four runs. The reigning American Association Pitcher of the Week struck out eight batters.
The final run scored in the bottom of the fifth. Oduber knocked in another run with a base hit to make it 13-4. The right fielder was 7-14 with eight RBIs over the three-game series.
Reliever Trevor Lubking tossed two shutout innings for the Saltdogs to finish out the game.
The rubber match win means the Saltdogs have won six of their last seven series. They try to move above .500 for the first time since July 22nd by beating Cleburne on Wednesday. First pitch at Haymarket Park is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://saltdogs.com/stream.