LINCOLN — After squandering an early 6-1 lead, the Saltdogs (48-44) rallied back with two outs in the seventh to beat the St. Paul Saints (47-44) 9-7 in front of 4,766 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
With two on and two out, down by a run in the seventh, Brandon Pinckney propelled a two-run double to left center to give Lincoln a 8-7 edge.
One batter later Mike Gilmartin yanked a double down the first base line to make it 9-7 Saltdogs.
Trey Barham (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball in relief to earn the victory. Marshall Schuler worked a scoreless ninth to extend his American Association saves record to 33.
Ian Gac blasted a two-out, two-run homer in the first, matching Argelis Nunez’s single-season club record with his 22nd home run, to give the ‘Dogs a 2-0 lead.
Lincoln added four more in the second, on a Brian Joynt two-run single followed by a Matt Forgatch two-run double to make it 6-1.
St. Paul quickly battled back to tie the game at 6-6 by the top of the fifth, and went in front 7-6 in the top of the seventh.
10 of the game’s 16 runs were tallied with two outs. Lincoln remains one back of Gary with eight games to play.
The Saltdogs evened up the four-game series with the rubber match Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. RHP Marquis Fleming (9-3, 3.71) takes the mound against RHP Nick Barnese (6-8, 3.94). Radio coverage begins at 1:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.