Mike Provencher drove in three big runs, the bullpen was lights out, and the Saltdogs capitalized on some porous defense in a 4-3 win over the Sioux City Explorers at Lewis and Clark Park Thursday night.
Sioux City left fielder Yusuke Inoguchi dropped a fly ball in the ninth and it cost the X’s the game, as Provencher delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
Provencher also came through with a two-out, two-run single to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh (on an 0-2 pitch from Eddie Delacruz).
The Explorers committed two errors, leading to two unearned runs scored by Lincoln.
Pete Parise (2-0) pitched a hitless eighth, striking out two to earn the win. Chris Bodishbaugh (0-1) allowed an unearned run to suffer the tough-luck loss. P.J. Zocchi worked a perfect ninth to notch his third save.
Brandon Cooney pitched 1 2/3 innings of middle relief to bridge the gap between Ryan Sheldon and the endgame.
Brad Payne went 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.
The game was delayed by rain for 61 minutes in the middle of the first inning.
The Saltdogs return home for Opening Night at Haymarket Park Friday at 7:05 p.m. against the New Jersey Jackals. Chandler Barnard (0-0, 4.50) is expected to pitch for the ‘Dogs against Steve Fox (1-0, 9.00).