RailCats Bats Silenced in Opener in Lincoln
By Ryan Zimmerman, Gary SouthShore RailCats
Lincoln, NE – The Gary SouthShore RailCats (4-3) had their opportunities to take the series opener, but the Lincoln Saltdogs (3-4) benefitted from a strong pitching performance to grab a 3-1 win.
The Saltdogs did all their scoring in the first three innings, starting with two runs in the bottom of the first. Following a Nate Samson one-out walk, Connor Panas hit a home run to right field, pushing Lincoln out to an early 2-0 lead.
Two innings later, they capitalized on a defensive miscue to plate another run. As runners stood on first and second, a two-out passed ball allowed Samson to touch home plate once again, providing the Saltdogs a 3-0 cushion.
Lincoln threatened to put up a crooked number in their next turn at bat, loading the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning. However, reliever Oddy Nuñez arose to the occasion. He escaped the frame without suffering any damage, holding the Saltdogs’ advantage at three.
The RailCats capitalized on the ensuing momentum as they cut into the deficit in the top of the fifth. Sam Abbott drew a walk and LG Castillo singled to put runners on first and second base before Daniel Lingua delivered a single to center field that pulled Gary SouthShore to within two.
Nuñez continued his fine form on the mound in the meantime, holding the Saltdogs off the scoreboard for the next three innings. He finished his outing by tossing 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out four.
Gary SouthShore mounted a rally in the eighth as a Lingua walk and Castillo base hit set up runners on the corners with two outs. However, the RailCats could not capitalize on the situation as Lincoln left-hander David Zoz worked his way out of trouble, preserving the two-run edge.
Down to their final out, Marco Hernandez coaxed a walk to bring the tying run to the plate, giving Gary SouthShore one last chance to tie the game. But, once again, they were unable to take advantage as closer R.J. Freure secured the final out to finish off a Lincoln victory.
The RailCats return to Haymarket Park tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. as they look to even their series with the Saltdogs. You can watch all the action on aabaseball.tv or listen along on 95.9 WEFM or the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.