Several hours after winning their final game of the regular season on Sunday, the Lincoln Saltdogs clinched a 2010 playoff berth, thanks to a 9-7 win by Sioux Falls over St. Paul. Lincoln will meet Sioux Falls in the best-of-five division series that begins on Tuesday.
The Saltdogs put themselves in position to make a return trip to the playoffs by sweeping Sioux City this weekend. Lincoln had entered the three-game series trailing the Explorers by one game in the wild card standings, but eliminated the X’s by winning all three games by scores of 14-5 on Friday, 4-2 on Saturday and 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Saltdogs also finished ahead of Wichita in the wild card standings. The Wingnuts were eliminated from wild card contention by losing on Friday.
In order for the Saltdogs to claim a wild card berth, however, they needed Sioux Falls to win the North Division second-half title outright. The Pheasants, who also won the first-half division crown, entered play on Sunday with a one-game lead over Wichita in the division race. The Wingnuts needed to win and have the Pheasants lose in order to make the playoffs, and Wichita won their game 4-2 over El Paso, but the home win by Sioux Falls over St. Paul eliminated Wichita and officially gave Lincoln its wild card spot.
By virtue of winning the first half, Sioux Falls earned the right to choose whether to host the first two games or the final three games of the best-of-five division series. The Pheasants chose the first option, so Lincoln will travel to Sioux Falls for games one and two of the opening round. Game one is scheduled for Tuesday night at Sioux Falls Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm, and the Saltdogs pregame show on KFOR 1240 will begin at 6:35pm.
The Saltdogs will host game three of the division series on Friday at 7:05pm, along with game four on Saturday afternoon at 12:05pm and game five on Sunday at 6:05pm if necessary. Playoff tickets may be purchased beginning Monday morning at 9am by visiting the ticket office at Haymarket Park, by calling 402-474-BALL (2255), or by logging on to www.saltdogs.com.