Gary SouthShore RailCats (15-18) sprung for nine runs in the first inning and held off a valiant Saltdogs (13-20) comeback effort to hang on for a 10-7 series-opening victory in front of 3,197 fans at U.S. Steel Yard Friday night.
Gary tallied the nine runs on seven hits and capitalized on two errors, leading to four unearned runs.
Lincoln battled back with five runs in the third and two more in the fourth to cut the deficit to two, and had an opportunity with the possible tying run on base but could not break through.
Justin Edwards (2-3) responded by retiring 13 of the next 14 hitters after the disastrous start to the game, but took the loss — giving up five earned on eight hits with six strikeouts.
David Quinowski (1-0) worked 1 1/3 hitless innings of relief to earn the win. Chris Allen pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his second save.
Joe Spiers went 2-for-5 with a run and two stolen bases. Mike Provencher and Salomon Manriquez also registered multi-hit nights and Stephen Holdren drove in a pair in a losing effort.
The teams meet again Saturday night at 6:10 p.m. for game two of the three-game set. Ryan Sheldon (3-2, 3.07) will face Steven Hiscock (1-2, 2.64)