Explorers Swept in Lincoln
by Connor Ryan, Sioux City Explorers
Lincoln, NE (May 26, 2022) – The Lincoln Saltdogs sweep both games of the doubleheader from the Sioux City Explorers, winning game one 4-3, and taking game two 9-2.
Game One: LINCOLN 4 – SIOUX CITY 3
The X’s set the narrative for their offensive output in the top of the first inning of game one as Nick Franklin blasted a home run over the right field fence to put Sioux City on top 1-0.
In the bottom half of the inning however it was the Saltdogs who immediately responded as Ryan Long blasted a home run of his own to tie the game. Josh Altmann stole second after being hit by a pitch and scored on a two out Eddy Martinez single to give Lincoln a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the second Gabe Snyder hit his first as an Explorer to tie the game at two. Franklin followed in the top of the third with his second of the game and tied the league lead with his sixth of the season to put the X’s out in front 3-2.
That lead held until the fifth as X’s starter Zach Hedges went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk. He took a no decision.
In the bottom of the fifth newly acquired Saltdog, Welington Dotel hit a two run, two out homer off of Sioux City reliever Blaine Hardy (0-2) who was handed the loss, to give Lincoln a 4-3 lead they did not relinquish.
Tucker Smith (1-1) picked up the win for Lincoln as the solo homers were the only damage he allowed to score. He surrendered the three runs over seven hits across five innings striking out a pair and walking just one.
Brandon Cunniff earned his third save of the season by tossing a scoreless seventh to secure the victory for the Saltdogs.
Game Two: LINCOLN 9 – SIOUX CITY 2
The second game of the doubleheader once again saw the X’s draw first blood only for the Saltdogs to immediately answer back.
Back to back homers on consecutive pitches from Sebastian Zawada and Gabe Snyder put the Explorers on top 2-0 in the top of the second.
Sioux City cranked five home runs between the two games but all of them were solo dingers. Outside of the homers Sioux City did not score in a different fashion during the doubleheader.
Lincoln responded with a three run bottom half of the inning. The Saltdogs tied the game on a two run double from Matt Goodheart and took a 3-2 lead on a Garrett Delano single.
The Saltdogs put the game away in the bottom of the fourth with a five run outburst. Delano added to his big game with a two run home run. And after a Ryan Long RBI double Josh Altmann hit his first homer of the season to make it 8-2 Saltdogs.
Explorer starter Kevin McCanna (2-1) was handed the loss as he managed three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
On the other side, Kyle Kinman (2-0) rebounded from the back to back homers and went five strong, allowing just the two runs on those two hits with five walks and four punch outs.
A wild pitch in the sixth added a run to the Saltdogs total to give the game its final score of 9-2.
Sioux City now returns home for the start of a nine game home stand. They meet up with the first place Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm. Tyler Beardsley (1-0, 3.38) gets the call for Sioux City and will be opposed by right hander Ryan Flores (1-0, 2.25) for Fargo.