Double-Header Split Sets Up Desperation Monday for Saltdogs
LINCOLN, Nebraska – Josh Altmann hit three homers, setting the single-season franchise record, but the ‘Dogs dropped the second game of a doubleheader after Altmann walked off the Houston Apollos to cap a late rally in Game 1.
GAME ONE: Josh Altmann two-run walk-off homer tied Ian Gac’s single-single franchise record at No. 27, and the ‘Dogs capped a late rally in a 3-1 win over the Houston Apollos at Haymarket Park on Sunday afternoon.
Altmann’s homer came after David Vidal tied the game with a two-out, RBI single in the 6th inning and was Lincoln’s second walk-off homer of the year.
Greg Minier tossed all seven innings and allowed just one run on Hudson Bilodeau’s first-pitch homer in the 1st, and Minier racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts.
GAME TWO: Altmann hit two homers – No. 28 and No. 29 – to set a new franchise record, but the Apollos scored five times in the 6th inning took the second game of the doubleheader.
Altmann gave Lincoln (53-46) a 4-0 lead in a four-run second, but the ‘Dogs tied for their largest lead in a game they eventually lost and now no longer control their own destiny in the finale on Monday.
Down 5-3 in the 6th, Houston (16-83) loaded the bases with nobody out before an RBI fielder’s choice and error from the second baseman David Vidal tied the game. With the bases still loaded and two outs, Taylor Zeutenhorst, who was previously 0-for-6 with five strikeouts in the doubleheader, hit a three-run double to break the tie.
Altmann’s solo homer made it 8-6 in the bottom of the 6th, but he was the only Saltdogs to reach base in the final three innings and Lincoln lost for only a fourth time when leading after five innings this year.
Carson Lance allowed three runs without recording an out – including walks to the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters to load the bases in the 6th – to take his fifth loss, and James Pugliese allowed two unearned runs.
The ‘Dogs must now win on Monday and Sioux Falls must beat Sioux City, or the ‘Dogs will miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
The season finale is set for 1:35 p.m. on Monday. Pregame coverage will begin at 1:05 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
The Saltdogs are celebrating their 20th season at Haymarket Park this season! All ticket and promotional information can be viewed at saltdogs.com.
by Michael Dixon, Lincoln Saltdogs