LINCOLN GRABS AN EARLY LEAD AND HOLDS ON TO DEFEAT SIOUX CITY, 8-6
Lincoln scored in its first five at-bats and jumped out to an early lead Wednesday night and held on late to defeat Sioux City, 8-6. With the win the Dogs took a two-games-to-none lead in their American Association series with the Explorers and became the first team in the league to reach the nine-win mark.
The Saltdogs got on the board in the first when Jose Torres was hit by a pitch and was moved around on back-to-back base hits by Bryan Warner and Pichi Balet. After Sioux City managed a run in the top of the second, Lincoln took advantage of three hits and two walks in the bottom of the inning to score three more times for a 4-1 edge. In the fourth, Brett Cooley hit his fourth homerun of the season, a solo shot to left that reached the back fence at Haymarket Park giving Lincoln a 5-1 lead. Cory Harris and Josh Patton each doubled in the fourth as the Dogs added a pair of runs to make it 7-1 and Jay Yaconettis double in the fifth with two outs led the way for run No. 8.
The Explorers rallied in the sixth sending nine men to the plate and scoring three runs on four hits. With two runs already in in the inning, an RBI double by Chris Grossman chased Lincoln starter Ben Fox and back-to-back singles by Robert Mendoza and Ryan Ruiz brought in two more runs to bring Sioux City two within two at 8-6. The Saltdogs bullpen, however, made sure that was all the runs the Explorers would get. Jarrett Gardner and Jerrod Fuell combined to shutout the Xs the rest of the way with Fuell picking up his third save. Fox did earn the victory improving his record to 3-0.
In picking up the win, five different Saltdogs had two hits on the night as Lincoln pounded out a season-high 14 hits pushing the series total to 27. The Dogs are now 9-3 on the year, while the Explorers fell to 5-7.
The series concludes Thursday with game three set for 7 p.m. at Haymarket Park. LHP Lindsay Gulin (2-0, 1.50), the reigning American Association Pitcher-of-the Week, will start for Lincoln while Sioux City will counter with LHP Billy Keppinger (1-1, 1.00).
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Neb.
Sioux City (5-7) 010 005 000 6- 9-1/ 7 LOB
@ Lincoln (9-3) 131 210 00x 8-14-1/ 10 LOB
WPBen Fox (3-0)
LPKeiran Mattison (1-2)
SVJerrod Fuell (3)
HRBrett Cooley, Lin. (4)