GARY, IN – Eric Wooten nearly pitched a complete game shutout and the Lincoln Saltdogs beat the Gary SouthShore Railcats 5-1 to break their five-series losing streak.
Wooten lasted 8.1 innings and surrendered just a ninth-inning run on the way to earning the win. He gave up only five hits and struck out six batters. The lefty’s best friend was the double play, inducing a season-high tying three double turns on Wednesday night. He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning.
RailCats (43-31) starter Alex Gunn matched Wooten through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Saltdogs (35-40) outfielder Alex Glenn recorded a one-out single and Ivan Marin followed with a bunt base hit. Then, Christian Ibarra demolished a three-run homer to give the Saltdogs the lead. It was Ibarra’s 14th blast of the season, tying him with Brandon Jacobs for the most on the team.
The Saltdogs added to their lead in the seventh. Glenn singled to start the frame and advanced on Marin’s sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Brandon Jacobs rifled a double down the left field line to make it 4-0.
The RailCats’ best chance to score before the ninth came in fifth. Andy Paz and Ronnie Mitchell each reached to start the inning and advanced to second and third on a bunt. Next, Wooten walked Will Savage to load the bases. The Saltdogs starter followed the walk by getting leadoff hitter Alex Crosby to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The top three hitters in the RailCats’ order combined to go 0-12 against Wooten.
Lincoln tacked on another in the ninth. Marin smacked a triple to the left-center field gap and scored on Ibarra’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. It was Marin’s first triple in American professional baseball.
Wooten let the first two batters of the ninth reach but struck out Paz in his last batter faced. J.R. Bunda allowed a sacrifice fly to yield a run but recorded the final two outs to end the game.
The Saltdogs return to Haymarket Park on Thursday to start a four-game series with the Texas AirHogs. First pitch is at 6:45 PM with coverage beginning at 6:15 PM on ESPN 101.5 FM 1480 AM and http://www.espn1480.com/lincoln-saltdogs-baseball/.