The Lincoln Saltdogs saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end Wednesday, falling 7-4 to Wichita at Haymarket Park. Lincoln drops to 7-5 on the season.
A crowd of 4.696 fans turned out for the 11am first pitch, most of them school children from Lincoln Public Schools on the second annual “Kids Rock the Park” day. In all, 38 elementary schools sent students to the game. The kids were into the game from the first pitch, starting several “Let’s Go Saltdogs” chants, cheering wildly for the Saltdogs’ mascot, Homer, and even singing and dancing to “YMCA” between innings.
On the field, Wichita took the lead in the second inning with a pair of runs against Lincoln starter Billy Weitzman (1-2), including s solo home run by Chris Colton. Weitzman allowed two more runs in the fourth, his final frame of the day. A solo homer by Michael Thompson in the top of the sixth made the score 5-0 Wingnuts. The Saltdogs, meanwhile, managed just four hits in six innings off of Wichita starter Luke Massetti (1-1).
Lincoln, however, fought back in the bottom of the seventh. Argelis Nunez singled, and Roberto Alvarez hit a ball down the third-base line that Thompson booted for a two-base error. Eric Williams’ throw back to the infield got away for a second error, allowing Nunez to score the ‘Dogs first run. Gavin Dickey followed with an RBI single to score Alvarez, and Tycen PoVey doubled to drive in Dickey and make the score 5-3.
Wichita added two insurance runs in the eighth, but the Saltdogs put together three straight hits in the ninth, including an RBI single by Chris Brown to make it 7-4. Lincoln loaded the bases with two out and had the winning run at the plate, but Justin Dowdy struck out Rafael Alvarez to record his third save.
Dickey and PoVey each went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Lincoln. Nunez and Phil Hawke also had two-hit days for the Saltdogs.
The two teams play the finale of their three-game series Thursday night at 7:05. Right-hander Jim Paduch will take the mound for the Saltdogs.