The Lincoln Saltdogs earned a walkoff win on Tuesday at Haymarket Park, beating Sioux City 7-6. Matt Maloney ended the back-and-forth contest with a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Maloney led off the ninth against Explorers reliever Ty Marotz (1-2) with the game tied at six. He took the first pitch for a ball, and then hit the second pitch over the left-field wall, about 15 feet inside the foul line and halfway up the berm. The blast is Lincoln’s first walkoff homer since Josh Patton hit one against Sioux City on June 22, 2007.
Before that, the game saw two dramatic swings in the seventh inning. Lincoln led 4-2 entering the frame, but the X’s scored four runs in the top half of the inning. Justin Nelson hit a three-run homer to put Sioux City in front, and Dan Jordan added an RBI single to make it 6-4 Explorers. In the bottom of the seventh, though, Phil Hawke led off with a solo home run to pull Lincoln within a run. Steve Alexander singled and took second on a passed ball, setting the table for Shawn McGill. McGill hit a sharp chopper up the middle that deflected off the glove of both the pitcher Marotz and second baseman Alex Llanos, scoring Alexander with the tying run and allowing McGill to reach second with a double.
The Sioux City rally in the seventh wasted a strong start by Lincoln’s Brian Campbell, who only allowed two unearned runs on four hits in his six innings of work. Lefty reliever Forrest Cory shined through 1.2 innings of work in the eighth and ninth, but left after a two-out walk in the ninth with an apparent arm injury. Zac Cline (1-1) replaced Cory, and recorded the final out of the ninth for his first win.
Maloney ended the night 2-for-5 with the homer, a double and two runs scored. McGill went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, while Phil Hawke finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Alexander and Deacon Burns also had two hits and an RBI each for the Saltdogs, who improved to 5-7 on the season.
Lincoln goes for the series win over Sioux City Wednesday morning at 11am. Lefty Jonathan Figueroa is scheduled to make the start for the Saltdogs.