LINCOLN — The Saltdogs (5-11) mounted a spirited comeback attempt late but the deficit proved too deep as the Wichita Wingnuts (11-4) won the rubber game 15-9 in front of 2,717 fans at Haymarket Park Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 14-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Lincoln scored four times, highlighted by a Jon Gaston two-run single.
After the Wingnuts plated a run in the eighth the Saltdogs scored five more thanks to a Matt Forgatch two-run single and a Ryan Wiggins three-run home run to right.
Scott Kuzminsky (1-0) pitched terrifically in his first professional start, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on five hits while striking out five and walking four to earn the win. Zach Staniewicz (0-3) yielded seven runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.
Gaston, Forgatch, Ryan Lashley and Wiggins each finished with two hits. Wiggins went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBI.
T.J. Mittelstaedt went 4-for-5 with two home runs (including a grand slam) for Wichita while the lead-off man Jayce Ray had five hits.
The Saltdogs begin a three-game series against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Haymarket Park Monday night at 6:35 p.m. Lincoln East grad Jesse Smith (1-0, 3.00) will take the mound against LHP Cornelius Bennett. Radio coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. on KFOR 1240.
Monday Promotions: Military Monday (active military personnel and their families get in free); Bark in the Park (dogs get in free plus Wachal Wiener Dog Nationals). Get your tickets now at www.saltdogs.com.