The Lincoln Saltdogs couldn’t hold a late lead at home on Memorial Day, falling 5-3 to the Sioux City Explorers Monday at Haymarket Park. Lincoln drops to 4-7 on the season.
The Saltdogs held a 3-2 lead entering the top of the eighth, but a single and a walk put two men on with one out for Sioux City’s Anthony Webster. The left-handed batter cracked a three-run homer off of Saltdogs lefty Adam Daniels (1-1), giving the Explorers the lead for good. Daniels walked three in his 1.2 innings of work, suffering his first loss of the year.
Lincoln got a great start out of Vince Davis, who gave up just one run on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out three. Sioux City starter Nick Singleton was nearly as good, giving up two runs on five hits in his six innings. The Saltdogs took a 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Shawn McGill in the fourth, although the X’s Brandon Jones cut the lead in half with his solo homer in the fifth.
In the top of the seventh, Walter Young tied the game with a solo homer off Lincoln reliever Zac Cline. The Saltdogs re-took the lead in the bottom of the inning, though, on a very strange play. Deacon Burns doubled with one out and took third on a wild pitch. Burns then broke for home as Lincoln attempted a squeeze play, but Sioux City catcher Dan Jordan jumped out in front of the plate as Lee Rubin tried to get the bunt down. After a discussion by the umpires, called a catcher’s balk against Jordan, allowing Burns to score the go-ahead run. Sioux City manager Les Lancaster was ejected for arguing the ruling.
Phil Hawke, fresh off being named the American Association Batter of the Week, went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Steve Alexander also had two hits and a run for Lincoln.
The two teams play game two of their series Tuesday night at 7:05pm. Brian Campbell will make his third start of the season for the Saltdogs.