Lincoln Saltdogs Sweep Wingnuts to Extend Winning Streak to 10, 8-2
The Lincoln Saltdogs won their 10th straight home game Sunday night, downing the Wichita Wingnuts 8-2, sweeping the three-game set and sending Wichita to their seventh straight loss. Derek Gordon tossed six outstanding innings, allowing just one run, and Cesar Valera and Matty Johnson each drove in two-runs in the victory.
Wichita started the game off on the right foot with a run in the top of the first. With two down, T.J. Mittelstaedt hit his eighth homer of the year to put the Wingnuts up 1-0.
The Saltdogs responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning against Jordan Cooper. The Wingnuts right-hander retired the first two batters of the inning, but Cesar Valera kept the frame alive with a single and moved to second on a walk by Curt Smith. Brandon Jacobs followed with a base hit that scored Valera to tie the game at one.
In the third, Lincoln took the lead. Christian Ibarra singled to start the inning, bringing Matty Johnson to the plate. On a 2-1 offering from Cooper, he clubbed it over the right field wall for his third homer of the year. That put Lincoln on top 3-1.
An inning later the Saltdogs took a commanding lead. With one down, Randolph Oduber hit his 11th homer of the year to extend the lead to three. Joe Robbins was hit by a pitch and, two batters later, Ibarra walked. Johnson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with two down. That brought Valera to the plate, who hit the first pitch thrown to him for a double. That scored Ibarra and Robbins, and Smith was then hit by a pitch to reload the bases. A wild pitch brought home both Valera and Johnson and Lincoln led 7-1.
The offense of the home team was not done. An inning later, Nathaniel Maggio singled to start the frame and Robbins lined a single up the middle to put two on with one down. A base hit by Dashenko Ricardo loaded the bases and Ibarra brought home Maggio with a sacrifice fly.
Following the first inning run, Derek Gordon (6-2) was absolutely brilliant. He allowed two hits in the fourth, then retired the next seven batters in a row. The Lincoln starter’s day would be over after six. He allowed 4-hits, a run and a walk. Gordon struck out 7.
In the eighth, Wichita would finally get back on the board. Leo Vargas singled with one down and Austin Boyle reached on an error that put two runners in scoring position. A single by Christian Stringer plated Vargas to make it 8-2, but Wichita would get no closer.
Matt Johnson was 2-4, with 2-runs and 2-RBI for Lincoln. Cesar Valera was 2-5 with a run and 2-RBI. Martin Medina led the Wichita offense, going 2-4.
After dropping their seventh straight game, the Wichita Wingnuts have two days off for the all-star break. They resume play on Wednesday in Cleburne.
By Robert Pannier