The Lincoln Saltdogs advanced to the American Association Championship Series on Sunday, beating Wichita 6-1. Lincoln wins the best-of-five divisional series 3-2. The Saltdogs rallied for a 3-1 win on Saturday in 11 innings after facing elimination when they fell 5-1 on Friday.
Lincoln came out of the chute firing on all cylinders. Phil Hawke hit a solo home run in the first inning against Wichita’s Will Savage (1-1). The Saltdogs added a pair of runs in the fourth, on back-to-back RBI singles by Shea McFeely and Brandon Jones. Lincoln then put the game away in the eighth, as Shawn McGill cracked a two-out, three run home run.
Saltdogs starter Jarrett Gardner (1-1) dominated the Wingnuts through six innings, allowing just five hits and striking out six. The Saltdogs called on all their top pitchers as Jim Paduch, another starter tossed a perfect seventh.
The Wingnuts got their lone run in the eighth on a solo homer Mat Petrusek. The Wingnuts loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but closer Chris Thompson got a popout, and then struck out Michael Thompson (no relation) to end the game and send the Dogs into the championship game.
Lincoln advances to face Pensacola in the American Association Championship Series. Game One takes place Tuesday night at 7:05 at Haymarket Park. Tickets will go on sale Monday morning at 9am, at the Haymarket Park ticket office, and can be purchased by calling 474-BALL (2255).