LINCOLN – Lincoln Saltdogs hitters went deep three times and Brian McAfee pitched a gem to beat the Wichita Wingnuts 10-1 for their ninth straight home win.
5,725 fans watched at Haymarket Park as Lincoln earned the series-clinching win over Wichita. The two division-leaders are now tied for the best record in the American Association with both teams boasting a 38-22 mark.
McAfee was an inning shy of notching his third complete game in just five starts. He lasted eight innings and allowed just one run on a solo homer. He surrendered just four hits while striking out five batters.
The game started in the Wingnuts’ favor. Zac Fisher hit a solo home run to deep center field for the first run of the game.
Meanwhile, the Saltdogs offense went down in order in their first six at bats. Then, they jumped to life in the bottom of the third inning. Randolph Oduber, Joe Robbins and Brent Dean combined to start the frame with three straight hits that plated one run. Then, Christian Ibarra hit in a run with an RBI sacrifice fly and Curt Smith doubled in two runs to make it 4-1.
The offensive onslaught continued in the bottom of the fourth. Nathaniel Maggio and Oduber combined for back-to-back homers to start the frame. It was the second time this season the Saltdogs have hit consecutive home runs.
The Saltdogs tallied another run in the fifth. Matty Johnson reached on a hit by pitch and moved to third on an error. Then, Smith drove him in on a sacrifice fly to make it a six-run lead.
Christian Ibarra joined the home run party in the bottom of the sixth inning. The shortstop launched an opposite field blast that scored Dean to make it 9-1. It was Ibarra’s fifth homer of the season.
The Saltdogs added one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Wichita made two errors and Ibarra knocked in Oduber on a fielder’s choice to round out the scoring.
Lincoln has won 11 of their last 12 games to improve to a season-high 16 games over .500. The Saltdogs’ three home runs in was one short of tying a season-high and was the eleventh multi-home run effort of the season. The Saltdogs clinched the series with the win, meaning Lincoln has won four straight series.
The Saltdogs go for a series sweep on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is at 2:05 PM with coverage beginning at 1:35 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
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