LINCOLN — Curt Smith absolved a leaky bullpen with a walk-off single as the Saltdogs (25-40) edged the Amarillo Thunderheads (29-37) 7-6 in front of 3,944 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
After Canham hit a one-out single and C.J. Ziegler walked, Smith smashed a 1-2 pitch from Richie Mirowski up the middle to score Canham and win the game.
Amarillo’s Dexter Kjerstad took closer Marshall Schuler deep for a solo shot to tie the game at 6-6 in the top of the ninth.
The Thunderheads scored four two-out runs to tie the game in the top of the seventh after Lincoln built a 5-0 lead.
Ziegler whacked a lead-off homer in bottom of the seventh – his second long ball in as many days back from the inactive list – to put the ‘Dogs back in front 6-5.
Schuler (2-1) allowed a run in the ninth but struck out the side to notch the win. Mirowski (0-1) allowed a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Casey Collins pitched terrifically in his first start of the season for the ‘Dogs, going 5 2/3 innings, yielding just a run on seven hits while striking out six and walking one.
Aaron Payne went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI for Lincoln.
The ‘Dogs look to clinch the series Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. RHP Jesse Smith (2-5, 4.40) is expected to face off against RHP Clay Chapman (4-0, 6.64). Radio coverage begins at 4:35 p.m. on KFOR FM 103.3/1240 AM.