The Lincoln Saltdogs fought to the finish in the final game of the season on Friday, falling 4-3 in 12 innings to Sioux Falls at Haymarket Park. The Pheasants swept the best-of-five series, with all three games being decided by one run.
Sioux Falls plated the series-winning run in agonizing fashion in the top of the 12th. With men on first and second and two out, Reggie Abercrombie came up with a broken-bat infield hit that loaded the bases. Lincoln reliever Tycen PoVey (0-2) then looked to retire Beau Torbert, but on a 2-2 count, the league’s leading hitter hit a slow roller up the third-base line for the game-winning single. The Saltdogs did get the tying run into scoring position with two out in the bottom of the 12th, but were unable to extend their season.
The Saltdogs had trailed 3-0 in the game after the top of the sixth, but fought back in the bottom half of the inning with two out and nobody on base. Phil Hawke hit a single, and Brandon Jones followed with a triple to put Lincoln on the board. Albenis Machado followed with an RBI single to make it 3-2. In the eighth inning, Machado hit a one-out solo home run, his second of the playoffs , to tie the game at three.
Lincoln out-hit the Pheasants 12-10, but the Saltdogs were unable to take advantage of multiple scoring chances for the third straight game. The ’Dogs left 14 men on base in the game and stranded 33 runners over the three-game series. Machado ended the night 4-for-5 with two RBI and hit .500 in the series. Hawke, Jones and Pat Trettel each had two-hit nights for Lincoln.
Despite the loss, Lincoln closes out another successful season. The Saltdogs finished the regular season with a 51-45 record, the ninth time in ten seasons they ended above .500 and the seventh time they reached the 50-win plateau. Lincoln also made the playoffs for the seventh time in ten seasons.