LINCOLN — In a game full of thrills, the Saltdogs (36-31) overcame three late-inning deficits, capped off by a Curt Smith three-run walk-off homer to beat the Sioux Falls Canaries (28-39) 11-10 in 12 innings in front of 5,518 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
With two out, two on, two strikes and Lincoln trailing 10-8 in the last of the 12th, Smith launched a Kirk Clark delivery over the left field berm to lift the 'Dogs to victory, his second home run of the year. Canaries slugger Tim Pahuta gave Sioux Falls the lead in the top of the 12th on a two-run homer to right.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, Ian Gac led off with a home run beyond the 403' marker left of center to tie the game at 8-8, after Sioux Falls had taken the lead on a sac fly.
The Saltdogs trailed 7-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, before Gac singled home a run and Matt Forgatch drilled a two-out double to left center to even the game at 7-7.
Sioux Falls jumped out to a 5-1 lead early on, with five unearned runs coming home in the top of the fourth. Following a Stephen Douglas two-out, two-run single in the seventh, the 'Dogs made the score 5-4.
Mike Burns turned in eight strong innings for Lincoln, allowing just one earned on nine hits, walking two and striking out a season-high nine.
Danny Meszaros (1-0) allowed three runs in two innings of relief and picked up the win. Clark (0-4) pitched 2/3 of an inning, surrendering the three-run homer to suffer the loss.
The clubs are back at it for the rubber match Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 4:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.