LINCOLN – Brent Dean hit a bases loaded single in the bottom of the 12th inning to carry the Lincoln Saltdogs to a 7-6 win over the Sioux Falls Canaries in what was Lincoln’s fourth straight walk-off win at home.
The Saltdogs used walk-off hits to win all three games against the Texas Airhogs in the last series at Haymarket Park on May 29-31. Then, after a three game trip to Winnipeg, the Saltdogs returned and earned their sixth straight home win and fourth straight via the walk-off.
Sioux Falls was ahead 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning with Closer Jose Ortega in the game. He retired the first two batters before walking Ivan Marin. Next, Randolph Oduber was hit by a pitch and Brandon Jacobs walked to load the bases. Cesar Valera singled to score Marin and keep the bases full. Curt Smith, who was 0-4 going in to the at bat, hit a line drive through the middle of the infield to score Oduber and Jacobs to tie the game at six runs.
Both teams got base runners in extra innings but no runners got to third base until the bottom of the 12th.
Josh Ferrell was inserted to pitch the frame and had trouble throwing strikes. He walked Valera, Smith and Christian Ibarra without recording an out. Then, Dean was chosen as a pinch-hitter for Brendan O’Brien. Dean turned on the first pitch and singled to left field to score Valera easily.
J.R. Bunda earned the win for the Saltdogs after pitching a perfect top of the 12th. Ferrell was charged with the loss for Sioux Falls.
Derek Gordon was one out shy of a quality start for the Saltdogs. The Lincoln-native allowed two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings. He struck out a season-high seven batters. Bryce Morrow was also effective for the Canaries. The righty gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits over six innings of work.
The Saltdogs took the first lead of the game in the third inning. They tallied three hits including a Dashenko Ricardo double and a Valera RBI to take the 2-0 advantage.
The Canaries scrapped across a couple runs to tie it in the sixth. Gordon allowed a hit and a walk before getting pulled with two outs for reliever Leuris Gomez. Blake Schmit hit a bases-clearing triple to tie the game.
The big inning for Sioux Falls was the seventh. They notched three hits and two walks against Gomez and Fabio Martinez to score four runs and take a 6-2 lead.
The Saltdogs scored a key run in the seventh inning to cut into the Canaries’ lead. Ricardo led off with a single and scored on a Brandon Jacobs double.
The Saltdogs used every position player and every bullpen pitcher except for Zac Person. The 12-inning affair was the most innings the Saltdogs have played in a game this season.
The second game of the three-game series is Wednesday night with first pitch at 6:45 PM. Coverage begins at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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