WICHITA, Kan. – Matty Johnson cracked a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh and the Wichita Wingnuts stranded the bases loaded in the ninth, as the Lincoln Saltdogs escaped with a 6-5 victory on Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
With the game tied at 5-5, Johnson cleared the right field wall off Wingnuts reliever Seth Harvey (1-4) to give the Saltdogs the lead. Wichita (45-29) threatened in the ninth inning, as Leo Vargas doubled, Tyler Sullivan singled, and Christian Stringer walked all with one out. However, Lincoln closer Michael Wagner got Brent Clevlen to ground into a game-ending double play, securing his league-leading 16th save.
The two teams traded blows early, with Lincoln (47-26) getting a run in each of the first two innings against Wichita starter Garrett Gould, and the Wingnuts grabbing one in the second on Richard Prigatano’s RBI single.
A four-run third briefly put the Wingnuts in front, with TJ Mittelstaedt’s two-run triple representing the big blow in the frame. Lincoln then rallied with three of their own in the fifth to tie the score at 5-5.
J.R. Bunda (8-0) picked up the victory for the Saltdogs with two innings of shutout relief, though the Wingnuts got good work from their bullpen as well. Josh Goossen-Brown dealt 1.2 scoreless innings, and Mike Devine and James Campbell each tossed a zero of their own.
The Wingnuts will wrap up their series with the Saltdogs Wednesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Wichita will turn to righty Jordan Cooper (5-1, 4.30), while Lincoln will counter with lefty Cesilio Pimentel (1-1, 3.04). All the action will be broadcast on 1410 AM/93.9 FM, and at americanassociationbaseball.tv.