Ryan Wiggins Triples in 10th to Give Lincoln Saltdogs 4-3 Victory
There is no doubt that if the Lincoln Saltdogs did not win Monday night’s contest against the Wichita Wingnuts, they were going to be very upset. The Saltdogs had 17-hits, but left 12 men on base and looked like this contest may slip away from them, however, Ryan Wiggins’ clutch two-out triple in the 10th inning plated Dainer Moreira and Evan Reed came on for his 15th save to lead Lincoln to the 4-3 extra-inning victory.
Ryan O’Sullivan was matched up against Tim Brown, and this was a good pitcher’s duel for much of the night. Neither team scored in the first two innings, but in the third Lincoln took the lead.
Dainer Moreira, who had 4-hits on the night, singled to left field to get the inning started. He moved to second when Wiggins laid down a sacrifice and scored when Robby Kuzdale followed with a single to make it 1-0. After Kuzdale was thrown out trying to steal second, Austin Darby singled and Brandon Jacobs followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners with two outs. That brought the clutch Luis Alen to the plate, who fouled off two two-strike pitches to stay alive, before singling up the middle to make it 2-0. Rene Leveret followed with a single of his own, scoring Jacobs and extending the lead to three.
O’Sullivan had looked extremely good through the first three-innings, allowing a lone single but getting a double-play to retire the minimum through the first three frames. In the fourth the Wingnuts would cut into the lead and make it a one-run game.
Christian Stringer walked to start the inning and Zack Cox followed with a single that moved Stringer to second. A ground out moved up both runners and Stringer scored on a ground out by T.J. Mittelstaedt. Wichita needed a clutch two-out hit of their own, and they got it when Matt Chavez singled to center to score Cox and make it 3-2.
Brown found himself in trouble at times, but he continued to work like a magician to get out of jams. That included a bases loaded jam in the sixth. Meanwhile, O’Sullivan was simply dominant. He retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings, and retired nine straight following the two runs.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Lincoln Saltdogs turned to former Wingnut Brad Orosey, but he could not hold the lead. The reliever retired the first batter of the inning, but Leo Vargas drilled the first pitch he saw down the line in right and legged it out into a triple. Stringer followed with a sacrifice fly and the game was tied.
It would stay tied through the ninth. In the tenth, the Saltdogs would grab the lead. Frankie Reed retired the first two hitters of the inning, but Moreira singled to right to keep the inning moving forward. That brought Wiggins to the plate, who took a 1-1 pitch from Reed and tripled to the wall in right to give Lincoln back the lead.
In the bottom half of the inning Evan Reed came on to pitch. He walked two of the first three hitters he faced, but then struck out his fourth batter of the inning before getting a ground out to end the game.
Besides Moreira getting four-hits, two Lincoln Saltdogs added 3-hits each. Both Jacobs and Alen were 3-5 and Wiggins, Darby and Kuzdale had 2-hits each. Chavez had 2-hits for Wichita.
The second game of this series between division leaders continues tomorrow night. Alex Boshers (6-3, 3.19) will get the start for the Wichita Wingnuts. He will be opposed by Matt Larkins (6-2, 2.52). First pitch is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier