05/20/2018 7:30 PM
X’S COMEBACK BID FALLS SHORT IN LOSS TO SALTDOGS
Lincoln, NE - Saltdogs starter Michael Tamburino threw six and a third innings of no hit ball to shut down the Explorers and hand them their first loss of the season in the series finale of the four game set.
Tamburino picked up the win and was perfect through six innings before walking Luis Durango to lead off the top of the seventh to break up his perfect game. After he walked Jay Austin to put runners at first and second with one out he was pulled from the game with a no-hitter still in tact after 83 pitches.
Explorers starter Justin Vernia took the loss and lasted only three innings, allowing three runs on five hits, walking and striking out three. Vernia was working around baserunners all day leaving the bases loaded in the first, and stranding runners at second and third in the second.
But the Saltdogs got to him in the third when Curt Smith lead off the inning with an opposite field home run into the X’s bullpen to give Lincoln a 1-0 lead. Chase Simpson got on with a walk next before Chad Hinshaw hit a missile into the right centerfield gap for a run scoring triple. Nathaniel Maggio then brought him home with a base hit to complete the three run third inning and give the Saltdogs a 3-0 lead.
Keith Picht came on in long relief of Vernia and went 3 and a third, with three hits and allowing a run with two walks and one punch out. The Saltdogs scored their fourth run off Picht in the sixth when Michael Hart lead off with an infield base hit after a sac bunt and a ground out advanced him to second base with two outs Brant Whiting crushed a ground rule double to dead center to drive home Hart.
The Explorers were finally able to get a hit on the board in the eighth when Jay Baum ripped a base hit into centerfield off of Lincoln reliever Jose Jose. A Dexture McCall base hit and a Dylan Kelly walk loaded the bases for Daniel Jackson who put a base hit into right field to cut the Lincoln lead in half at 4-2. Eric Wooten then came in to pitch for Lincoln and got the only batter he faced Durango to ground into an inning ending double play.
JR Bunda came in for the ninth inning for the save, but not without the X’s trying to make a comeback. Michael Lang drew a lead off walk and made it to second base on a Jay Austin ground out. Nate Samson then lined a base hit to center to drive Lang home who with the run scored broke the franchise record for most runs scored in a career with 308. Nolan Lane was the previous record holder.
With Samson on first as the tying run and one out JR Bunda got Nelson Ward to ground into a game ending double play. The Explorers hit into three double plays in the game with all three ending the inning.
The X’s took three of the four games played in Lincoln. They will have a day off on Monday before going to Sioux Falls for a three game series beginning on Tuesday. The home opener will be on Friday May 25th versus the Cleburne Railroaders with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.
Order your tickets for the 2018 home opener on Friday, May 25th by stopping down to the stadium box office at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park, online at www.xsbaseball.com, or by calling 712-277-WINS (9467). Group rates available for groups of 20 or more for all (50) home games on the 2018 schedule!