Knapp Shuts Door on Explorers, Saltdogs Win, 3-2
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Ricky Knapp threw five scoreless relief innings, and John Sansone’s tiebreaking solo homer in the 4th inning stood as the game-winner in a 3-2 win over the Sioux City Explorers at MercyOne Field on Tuesday night.
Knapp tossed five innings in relief of Shairon Martis, who came off of the DL and gave up a pair of solo homers and two runs over four innings in his first start since May 22nd.
Sansone’s solo homer to left-center stood as the game-winning hit – his fifth homer of the year – and the ‘Dogs moved back to three games over .500, their high-water mark of 2019.
Lincoln opened the scoring with Cody Regis’s first-inning RBI groundout, his second such hit in as many nights, but Michael Lang’s 600th career American Association hit was a solo homer that tied the game in the bottom of the 1st.
Lang became the 13th player all-time to reach 600 career hits, after Curt Smith did the same in Sioux City back on May 19.
The ‘Dogs once again took a lead in the 3rd after Christian Ibarra doubled in Auggie Francis, who was making his first professional start. The X’s evened things again on Sebastian Zawada’s solo homer to left-center in the bottom-half of the inning.
Curt Smith finished with two hits and now has 12 mutli-hit games this year, while Cody Regis’s 24-game on-base streak came to an end.
The ‘Dogs and X’s continue their second series of the year on Wednesday night. First pitch time is set for 7:12 p.m., and pregame coverage will begin at 6:40 on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
The Saltdogs are playing their 19th season in Lincoln. All ticket and promo information can be found at saltdogs.com, and follow the ‘Dogs on Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.
By Michael Dixon