FARGO, ND – The Lincoln Saltdogs hit three home runs and held on to beat the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 11-9 to win the four-game series.
RedHawks starting pitcher Ceselio Pimentel entered the game 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA but the Saltdogs wasted no time getting to the lefty. Christian Ibarra started the game with a walk but Pimentel retired the next two batters to bring up Tommy Mendonca. The Saltdogs third baseman doubled to the right-center field gap to knock in the first run.
The RedHawks struck right back in the bottom of the first. Josh Mazzola hit a sacrifice fly to knock in Yhoxian Medina and tie the game.
The Saltdogs reclaimed the lead in the top of the second inning. Randolph Oduber hit a 1-1pitch over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer. It was his seventh homer of the season.
The lead flipped to the RedHawks in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ryan Pineda reached on an error and moved to third base on a Charlie Valerio double. Then, Jesus Posso doubled to clear the bases. The scoring continued when Mike Schwartz singled in Posso to make it 4-3.
The Saltdogs continued the back-and-forth game by regaining the lead in the top of the fifth. Brent Dean singled and Brendan O’Brien followed with a walk. Brandon Jacobs singled home Dean to tie it. Cesar Valera singled in the next at bat to score another run and bring the score to 5-4.
The lead was extended in the sixth. Curt Smith walked to bring Trever Adams to the plate. The first baseman smacked a homer to center field to make it 7-4. It was his second straight game with a homer and brought his season total to six bombs.
Tommy Mendonca joined the home run party in the top of the seventh. He pulled a two-run shot out to right field for his second homer is as many days.
Fargo-Moorhead chipped into the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ryan Pineda hit a solo home run in the first at bat of the frame. It was the first run allowed by J.R. Bunda in his last 11 innings of work.
The Saltdogs added a couple more runs in the top of the ninth. Oduber supplied more offense by bouncing a single through the left side of the infield to score two runs and make it 11-5.
The two runs came in handy because the RedHawks scored more in the bottom of the ninth inning. They scored four runs on four hits to cut it to 11-9 before Cameron McVey was inserted to get the final out.
The Saltdogs have hit five home runs in the last two games. Their season total for long balls is up to 25 homers.
The Saltdogs return home for a six-game homestand on a three-game winning streak. The ‘Dogs have won the last 11 home games, a franchise record.
First pitch for Friday’s game against Gary SouthShore is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling (402) 474-2255 or visiting Saltdogs.com. For the latest information on the Saltdogs follow the team on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.