Lincoln, NE-The Explorers scored an early run in the first before the Saltdogs took command with eight runs over the next two innings in a 13-6 rout Friday afternoon at Haymarket Park.
With the loss, Sioux City (46-51) fell behind in the season series with Lincoln 3-games-to-2. In the process, the Saltdogs (52-45) moved a half-game in front of Gary SouthShore for first place in the Central Division. The Explorers started in fine form as Michael Lang led off the top of the first with a double into the gap in left-center. With one out, a ground out by Rene Tosoni drove in Lang with the game’s first run.
Lincoln quickly gained the advantage in the bottom of the first. Chad Mozingo walked to lead off the inning. Luis Nunez reached on a fielder’s choice. Matt Forgatch followed with a walk that put runners at first and second. Ian Gac then homered to deep left for a 3-1 lead. The second inning proved even more detrimental for Sioux City. The Saltdogs added five more runs for an 8-1 cushion. The at-bat was highlighted by a grand slam to right for Gac. It was his league-leading 26th round tripper of 2014.
In the third, Sioux City drew closer with a home run of its own. Peter Barrows deposited a one-out, two-run shot over the wall in straightaway center. It was the 16th dinger of the season for Barrows. Lincoln stayed on the offensive, though, with a four-run fourth. The inning was capped by a three-run home run to deep right off the bat of Mike Gilmartin. The Saltdogs led it 12-3 through four.
The Explorers scored a single tally in each of the next three innings. Amos Ramon (pictured) served up a solo home run to deep left in the sixth. Lincoln finished the scoring with a run in the seventh. On the mound, Nick Green posted the win for the Saltdogs. Green (4-5) worked six innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Alex Caldera suffered the loss for Sioux City. Caldera (1-3) went three-and-a-third and allowed 12 earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and eight walks. He surrendered three home runs. Jake Meiers pitched the final three innings for Lincoln to pick up his first save. Meiers gave up an earned run on two hits with one strikeout.
Lincoln outhit the X’s 14-to-10. Six Saltdogs racked up two hits. Ian Gac went 2-for-3 with the two homers and seven RBIs. For the Explorers, Peter Barrows finished 2-for-4 with the homer and three RBIs. Each team made two errors in the contest.
Sioux City plays game two of its doubleheader against Lincoln Friday night at 7:05. The two teams take Saturday off before the series resumes Sunday night at 7:05. The season concludes with game four of the series Monday afternoon at 2:05. For 2015 ticket information and promotion specials at Lewis & Clark Park, call 712-277-WINS or visit the Explorers website at www.xsbaseball.com.