LINCOLN — Jesse Smith loaded the base to begin the game but settled into a nice groove as the Saltdogs (29-46) beat the Kansas City T-Bones (40-33) 4-1 in front of 3,162 fans at Haymarket Park Wednesday night.
After throwing a wild pitch to plate a run, Smith (3-6) ended up pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits while striking out five and walking three to earn his first victory since June 23.
Conor Spink threw a scoreless 1 1/3 innings of middle relief and Marshall Schuler exorcised some Tuesday night demons for a hitless ninth and his sixth save.
The ‘Dogs tied the game in the first on a C.J. Ziegler two-out RBI single and took the lead on a Jeremy Hamilton bases-loaded walk.
Lincoln added to its lead in the second on an Aaron Payne single following a Matt Forgatch double.
Forgatch, the franchise’s all-time steals and triples leader, went 2-for-3 with a triple, two runs and two stole bases.
Bobby Doran (8-3) at one point retired 15 in a row, but yielded three early runs to suffer the loss.
The rubber game is Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Shairon Martis (6-2, 4.01) will toe the slab against LHP Kris Regas (6-3, 5.03). Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.
It’s a #ThirstyThursday with beer specials and Pepsi products at just $1! Get your tickets now at www.saltdogs.com.