LINCOLN, Neb. — Keon Barnum homered and Trey Vavra sped home on a wild pitch for the go-ahead run late, fueling the Chicago Dogs to a 5-4 win over the Lincoln Saltdogs on Monday night at Haymarket Park.
Down 4-2 entering the eighth, Chicago rallied for three runs on three hits to retake the lead. Casey Crosby and Kyle Halbohn then slammed the door to secure the series-opening win.
Austin Wright struck out 11 and walked just one in six innings, earning a no-decision, and four Dogs had multi-hit games in the series-opening win. It marked the Schaumburg native’s third outing with at least 11 strikeouts this season.
In the third inning, Olmedo-Barrera tripled off Saltdogs starter Spencer Herrmann with one out, and Edwin Arroyo drove him in with a single to start the scoring in favor of the Dogs.
Barnum then uncorked one of the longest home runs of the season for his league-leading 24th of the season with two outs in the fifth to double the score to 2-0.
Heading into the fifth inning, the Saltdogs had managed just one hit off Wright, who also had tallied eight strikeouts through four frames. After Kelly Dugan robbed a home run, Nick Schulz changed that with a solo homer to make it 2-1, and Christian Ibarra followed suit with a two-out, three-run bomb to give Lincoln their first lead of the night, 4-2.
In the top of the eighth, Chicago orchestrated its comeback. With two on and nobody out, Jordan Dean singled in Victor Roache from second, to bring the Dogs within one, and two batters later, Tony Rosselli scorched a double off Lincoln reliever Austin Pettibone (L, 1-4) to score Dean, knotting the game at four. Two pitches later, Vavra scored on a wild pitch to give the Dogs a 5-4 lead that they never relinquished.
Chicago’s three-headed bullpen monster of Rich Mascheri (W, 5-2), Crosby and Halbohn combined for three scoreless innings of relief. Halbohn moved to a perfect 11 of 11 in save opportunities in 2019.
The Dogs continue their series against the Saltdogs on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM.
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