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Lincoln tops Explorers in wild contest

HINTON, Iowa | With a brisk wind blowing out to straightaway center field, Diediker Field at Hinton High School was just a little too cozy for a pair of professional baseball teams.


Scoring 16 times on seven home runs, most of them wind-aided, the Lincoln Saltdogs outslugged the Sioux City Explorers 23-16 Wednesday night in an American Association exhibition game shortened to eight innings when the abundance of offense stretched the action to three hours and 50 minutes.


Trevor Martin slugged a pair of three-run homers for the Saltdogs while five teammates each managed to put one ball out of the yard in a ballpark measuring 365 feet to straightaway center.


The Saltdogs scored five times in the top of the first inning against Geoff Broussard, but the X’s countered with seven in the home half of the first against former Bishop Heelan star Joe Bisenius, a former major leaguer beginning his second stint with Lincoln.


Tommy Mendonca belted a three-homer homer for Sioux City, which also scored five times in the second inning to gain a 12-7 lead. However, Lincoln took control, getting seven runs on three fourth-inning homers off Elisaul Pimentel, considered a frontrunner for the X’s starting rotation.


The Saltdogs also tagged Chris Bodishbaugh, the Explorers’ closer for the last two seasons, for five runs in the eighth inning.


Following up on a 19-0 rout of Sioux Falls in an exhibition season opener Monday night in Yankton, the Sioux City offense ran its two-game total to 35 runs. However, Lincoln’s 23-run assault against six X’s pitchers was a far cry from the Monday performance.


“Both teams are better than this,’’ said Steve Montgomery, Sioux City’s first-year manager. “When I saw the mound wasn’t the proper height, I just thought, ‘let’s get through this injury-free.‘’


The Explorers face Sioux Falls for a second time in a Friday night contest in Huron, S.D., and then visit the Saltdogs at Haymarket Park next Tuesday night -- two nights before the regular season opener in Sioux Falls.


Article courtesy of The Sioux City Journal Staff