The Lincoln Saltdogs won a hard-fought game on Saturday, beating Sioux City 4-2 at Haymarket Park. Lincoln improves to 50-45 on the season, and takes a one-game lead in the wild card standings over the Explorers with one game left in the regular season.
Saltdogs starter John James (6-2) beat Sioux City for the fourth time this season, allowing just two runs on four hits over 6.1 innings pitched. Lincoln gave James an early lead in the second inning when Phil Hawke hit an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. The Saltdogs’ biggest hit, however, came in the fourth inning. With two on and two out, Pat Trettel launched his 11th home run of the season to give the ’Dogs a 4-0 cushion.
Lincoln had just one hit the rest of the game, however, and Sioux City tried to fight back with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Explorers then put two men on with just one out in the ninth inning, but Chris Thompson retired the final two batters of the game for his 21st save.
Trettel finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI. No other Saltdogs player had more than one hit, but Hawke’s RBI was his 50th of the season.
Lincoln now leads Sioux City by one game in the wild card standings with one game left, and a Sunday win over the X’s would potentially clinch a wild card spot for the Saltdogs. However, Sioux Falls enters Sunday with a one-game lead over Wichita. If the Pheasants lose to St. Paul and the Wingnuts beat El Paso, Wichita will clinch a playoff spot and leave both Lincoln and Sioux City out.
Lincoln goes for the sweep Sunday afternoon at 1:05. Right-hander Chris Cullen is scheduled to make the start for the Saltdogs.