Smith Leads Saltdogs to Series Victory over Railroaders
LINCOLN, Nebraska – Ryan Long extended his hitting streak to five games with a homer, and the ‘Dogs rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the Cleburne Railroaders, 11-10, in the rubber match at Haymarket Park on Thursday night.
Long’s 1st-inning solo shot was the first of a season-high three homers, while Curt Smith hit a two-run homer and Edgar Corcino hit his second home run of the season.
The ‘Dogs (5-3) fell behind 2-0 in the 1st, but Long halved the deficit in the bottom-half of the inning. After Cleburne (4-5) scored in the 2nd and 3rd, Lincoln took a 5-4 lead with a four-run 3rd inning that featured four hits, three walks and three wild pitches.
Lincoln had a 9-5 lead after Smith hit a two-run double in the 6th inning, but Cleburne cut the deficit to one with three runs in the 7th. The ‘Dogs restored a three-run lead with Smith’s two-run homer, and after Cleburne scored once in the 8th, James Pugliese allowed an unearned run in the 9th for his league-leading fourth save.
‘Dogs starter John Richy allowed four runs in five innings but earned his first win of the season, while the ‘Dogs roughed up Maverik Buffo for five runs over 2.1 innings.
Patrick Adams had three hits in the No. 8 spot, while Corcino had a double and a homer. Josh Altmann walked twice with an RBI single, and Skyler Weber walked two times with another single.
The ‘Dogs have still never lost a series to Cleburne at home, and beat the Railroaders 11-10 for the second time in four games.
Lincoln continues its three-game home stand with the series opener against Sioux Falls on Friday. First pitch time is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage begins at 6:35 on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.
By Michael Dixon, Lincoln Saltdogs