Pair of 4 run innings leads Lincoln over RailCats

Lincoln plated four runs in the third and sixth innings on their way to a 10-4 win over the RailCats on Friday night at U. S. Steel Yard. The four-game series is tied at one game apiece.

The RailCats grabbed the game’s first run when Ryan Babineau drove in Mike Massaro from second base with a rocket ground ball through the middle in the bottom of the first.

The Saltdogs took the lead with a four-run third inning. Dan Carroll led off the inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on an error by the shortstop Zac Mitchell. Carroll came in to score on Stephen Douglas’ groundout to second. Starter Ari Ronick then walked David Espinosa and hit Ian Gac. With two out, former RailCat Matt Forgatch crushed a 2-1 offering over the wall in left field to give the Saltdogs a 4-1 lead.

RailCats starter Ari Ronick (0-1) allowed four runs on three hits in five innings in his RailCats debut. The former San Francisco Giants minor leaguer walked three and struck out three in the loss.

Former Japanese Major Leaguer Takahiro Matsuka struggled in his American debut with the RailCats, hitting two batters and walking one while recording one out. Taylor Sewitt relieved him with the bases loaded and hit the first batter he faced, Jeremy Mayo, to bring home a run. Caroll followed with a sac fly to make it 6-1. With two outs, Douglas hit a grounder to second that second baseman Chase Tucker misplayed for an error and then threw away for a second error, allowing two runs to score and giving the Saltdogs a 8-1 advantage.

The RailCats offense awoke in the in the sixth and seventh innings to score three runs. In the sixth, Danny Pulfer rocked a double into the gap in left-field to score Ryan Babineau. With two outs in the seventh inning, Cristian Guerrero drilled a double into the deepest part of the Steel Yard in center, plating Chase Tucker. Guerrero came in on the next batter when first baseman Ian Gac dropped a throw from third baseman Matt Provencher to cut the deficit to 8-4.

Lincoln added two more runs in the top half of the ninth, taking advantage of two wild pitches by Morgan Coombs. Stephen Douglas scored on the second of those wild pitches, and David Espinosa later came in on Denis Raben’s sacrifice fly to plate his fifth RBI of the series.

Saltdogs starter Pete Parise (1-0) earned the victory with five innings of one run ball. He allowed three hits and walked just two for his first win of the year.

The RailCats and Saltdogs will meet for game three of the series on Saturday night at 6:10 p.m.

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