LINCOLN – Cesar Valera hit a looping line drive single to left field with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to score Trever Adams and carry the Lincoln Saltdogs to their third straight walk-off win over the Texas Airhogs.
Brandon Jacobs hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in game one and Randolph Oduber followed with another two-run walk-off homer in the 11th inning in game two. Tonight, Valera delivered the fireworks to propel the Saltdogs to the 4-3 win and their fifth straight victory.
The Airhogs grabbed the lead in the first inning. Trevor Sealey doubled off of Saltdogs starter Derek Gordon in the second at bat. Then, Beamer Weems hit a single to score Sealey and make it 1-0.
After that, there was no scoring until the Saltdogs got on the board in the bottom of the 5th. Dashenko Ricardo started the frame with a single and Trever Adams followed with a double to put Ricardo at third base. Ivan Marin notched a base hit to score both runners and take the lead 2-1.
Texas struck back in the top of the 6th. Ryne Willard doubled and Jake Luce singled before Alvaro Rondon loaded the bases with a walk. With Gordon still on the mound, Sealey hit a single to score Willard. Then, Weems hit a sacrifice fly that scored Luce to give the Airhogs the 3-2 advantage. J.R. Bunda relieved Gordon and induced an inning-ending double play.
Ricardo evened the score in the bottom of the 7th. The Saltdogs’ catcher hit a one-out solo home run to tie the game at three runs apiece.
The relievers on both sides kept the contest tied until the bottom of the 9th inning. Ricardo started it with a single. Next, Adams hit a double down the left field line. Ricardo rounded the third base bag and slipped when he saw the stop sign from third base coach Tom Carcione. He was tagged out for the first out. Valera stepped up after a strikeout of Marin and an intentional walk to Jacobs. The Saltdogs’ center fielder hit three foul balls and worked a full count against Airhogs relief pitcher Roman Gomez. Then, Valera slapped the single that scored Adams and won the game.
This was the first series sweep of the season for the Saltdogs. They have won five straight games after enduring a five game losing streak. They went 5-2 in the first homestand of 2017.
Michael Wagner earned the win for the Saltdogs and Gomez took the loss for the Airhogs. Texas has lost five straight games.
The Saltdogs have Thursday off as they travel to Winnipeg, Canada to face the defending league champion Goldeyes. Friday’s first pitch is at 7:00 PM with coverage beginning at 6:30 PM on ESPN 1480 and saltdogs.com.
The Saltdogs are next at Haymarket Park on Tuesday, June 6th against the Sioux Falls Canaries. 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.