The Lincoln Saltdogs held on through a scary ninth inning on Tuesday, beating St. Paul 4-3. The win moves the Saltdogs back to the .500 mark at 21-21.
With Lincoln leading 4-1, Brent Krause led off with a homer. The Saints got a man on in between two strikeouts before Josh Womack cracked a triple to right-center, pulling the Saints within a run. With the tying run at third, Julius Thames grounded out weekly to the mound, giving R.D. Spiehs his third save.
Lincoln starter Brian Campbell (5-2) won his fourth straight decision, allowing just one run on six hits in eight innings of work. The Saints scored in the first inning on an RBI double by ex-Saltdog Kevin Sullivan, but Campbell allowed only four hits through the next seven.
The Saltdogs took control of the game in the third inning against Saints starter Luis Villareal (3-3), who had beaten Lincoln at Haymarket Park in early June. After a single and a walk, Dustin Yount hit an RBI double to tie the game at one. Eduardo Rios followed with a two-run double of his own, giving the Dogs a 3-1 lead. Yount and Rios would combine in the seventh inning for Lincoln’s final run of the night, as Yount tripled to lead off the frame and scored on a Rios sacrifice fly.
Rios finished the night 1-for-4 with three RBI. Yount was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Anthony Contreras, batting leadoff for the second straight night in place of an injured Jonny Kaplan, went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Saltdogs played the game without two players, both of whom were at home witnessing the birth of their children. Starting pitcher Ryan Dittfurth welcomed his new daughter to the world early Tuesday morning, while designated hitter Mario Delgado flew home late Tuesday morning to see the birth of his child. Both players are expected to re-join the team by the end of the coming weekend.
The Saltdogs and Saints play the finale of their three-game series Wednesday afternoon at 1:05. Ryan Trytten is scheduled to make the start for Lincoln, while Charlie Ruud is expected to start for St. Paul.