Brennen Salgado Leads Wichita Wingnuts 5-4 Victory Over Saltdogs
Round 2 of the battle between the South Division leading Wichita Wingnuts and Central Division leading Lincoln Saltdogs began Thursday night. Lincoln had won two of three in Wichita just before the All-Star break and looked like they would take the first contest of this four-game set, but Brennen Salgado hit his first homerun of the season and drove in three in the Wingnuts 5-4 victory.
The Saltdogs jumped out to the early lead when they plated a run in the bottom of the first inning. Luis Alen singled with one out and moved to second on a base hit by Brandon Jacobs. Curt Smith then grounded to short, but the shortstop made an error allowing Alen to score. That made it 1-0.
The Wingnuts responded right away in the top of the second. All-Star Harrison Kain reached on an error and scored when Salgado doubled. That tied the score at one.
Back on top the Saltdogs went. In the home half of the second Dainer Moreira singled and then stole second base. He moved to third on a base hit by Tyler Urps and scored when Ryan Wiggins grounded into a double-play.
In the third, Lincoln extended their lead to two. Back-to-back singles by Jacobs and Smith started the inning and Jacobs scored on a sacrifice fly by Jon Smith.
In the top of the fourth the Wingnuts tied the score. Kain and Salgado singled to start the inning and Brent Dean then reached on an error to load the bases. Leo Vargas hit a sacrifice fly that scored Kain. Two batters later Zack Cox delivered a clutch two-out single that scored Salgado and made the score 3-3.
In the home half of the inning Lincoln got right back on top. Wiggins reached on a single and advanced to second on an error. Next up was Robby Kuzdale, who doubled to the wall to score Wiggins and make it 4-3.
Wichita would respond in the top of the fifth and took the lead for the first time in the contest. Harrison Kain singled with one out bringing Salgado to the plate. He fouled off the first pitch, then clubbed his first homerun of the season to put Wichita on top.
From there the Wingnuts pitching staff took over. Brown (6-2) had pitched well, but had some bad luck that led to the first four-runs against him. In the fifth and sixth he shutdown Lincoln. The right-hander finished with 6-IP, 9-H, 3-earned runs and a strikeout.
Chad Nading and Seth Harvey each pitched a scoreless inning. In the ninth, All-Star Frankie Reed came on. He would strike out two of the three outs of the inning to earn his 13th save of the season.
Salgado finished the evening 3-4 with 2-runs scored and 3-RBI. Kain was 2-4 with 3-runs scored, and Cox was 3-5 with an RBI. Kuzdale, Alen, Jacobs, and Moreira each had 2-hits for the Lincoln Saltdogs.
Game 2 of this series is Friday night in Lincoln. Game time is 6:35.
By Robert Pannier