Thursday, May 25, 2006 at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Neb.
Sioux City (5-8) 001 000 000 1- 7-1/ 5 LOB
@ Lincoln (10-3) 002 003 01x 6-11-0/ 6 LOB
WPLindsay Gulin (3-0)
LPBilly Keppinger (1-2)
HRJay Yaconetti, LIN (1)
GULIN LEADS LINCOLN TO 6-1 WIN OVER SIOUX CITY; DOGS SWEEP XS
A pitchers duel through five innings, Lincoln pulled away in the latter stages of the game to beat Sioux City 6-1 and complete a three-game sweep of the Explorers Thursday night at Haymarket Park.
Lincoln starter Lindsay Gulin and Sioux Citys Billy Keppinger silenced bats on both sides through five with the two teams combining for just three runs on five hits. Meanwhile, the two left-handers had recorded 14 strikeouts.
Sioux City got on the scoreboard with two outs in the third inning when Julius Thames singled in Robert Mendoza, who had doubled, with the first run of the game. Lincoln answered back quickly with two runs in the bottom half of the third. With one out, Paul Powell drilled a ground ball to third base that was misplayed by Ryan Gripp. The error proved costly because the next hitter, Jay Yaconetti, belted his first homerun of the year to give the Dogs a 2-1 lead.
The Saltdogs broke open the game in the sixth scoring three runs on five hits, including four consecutive singles, to make it 5-1 and give Gulin insurance en route to his third win of the year in as many starts. Lincoln added its final run in the eighth when Josh Patton led off with a stand-up triple to the right field corner. Kevin Sullivans sacrifice fly to right brought him in to make the final 6-1 and improve the Dogs record to 10-3. With the win, Lincoln remained tied with St. Paul in the American Associations North Division. The Explorers, meanwhile, suffered their fourth-straight loss and fell to 5-8.
For the third consecutive night the Saltdogs reached double-digits in hits with 11 giving them 38 for the series. Lincoln began the three-game set hitting .247 as a team but saw its average raise to .275. Pichi Balet joined Patton and Yaconetti in collecting two hits on the night. For Yaconetti, the series was a huge lift offensively. The Dogs third-baseman was hitting just .190 but after going 6-10 against the Explorers, his average jumped to .323. In picking up the win, Gulin pitched eight innings and gave up six hits and one walk while striking out eight. The veteran left-hander has now struck out 20 batters in 20 innings and allowed just two walks.
The Saltdogs continue their six-game home stand with a three-game weekend series at Haymarket Park against the Sioux Falls Canaries. The start time for Friday nights game is 7:05 p.m., with RHP Jeff Blitstein (0-0, 2.77) starting for Lincoln.