The Lincoln Saltdogs took two out of three from Wichita this week, beating the Wingnuts 4-2 Thursday at Haymarket Park. Lincoln improves to 8-5 on the season.
Lincoln trailed 1-0 entering the fifth inning, but loaded the bases with one out against Wichita starter Brandon Mathes (0-1). A fielder’s choice out at the plate put Mathes one out away from escaping damage, but Phil Hawke clubbed a three-run double to the gap in right-center, a blow that put the Saltdogs ahead for good.
Saltdogs starter Jim Paduch (1-1) put together his best start of the season so far, allowing just one run over six innings. He gave up seven hits, all in the first three innings, but all of them were singles and none were hit hard. Wichita did string three hits together in the third inning, producing their first run on a bloop single by Steve Pearson, but Paduch didn’t allow another hit the rest of the time he was in there. Paduch walked just one on the night and struck out six, improving his league-leading strikeout total to 25.
Lincoln added an insurance run in the sixth inning. Rafael Alvarez doubled to lead off the frame, and Argelis Nunez followed with a double of his own to score Alvarez. The Wingnuts crept within 4-2 on Pearson’s second RBI single of the night, but Chris Thompson pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth to earn his seventh save in as many tries.
Nunez had the only multi-hit night for Lincoln, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Hawke’s 3-run double gave him eight RBI on the season. Nolan Chestnut pitched well again in relief, allowing just one hit over an inning and a third.
Lincoln opens a three-game home series against El Paso Friday night at 7:05. Right-hander Chris Britton will take the mound for the Saltdogs.