LINCOLN -- The Saltdogs (11-12) produced three two-out RBI hits and made several lead-saving defensive plays to hang on and edge the Sioux City Explorers (9-13) 5-4 in front of 5,050 fans at Haymarket Park Saturday night.
After falling behind 2-0, Lincoln sprung for four runs in the bottom of the third inning, including back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Tommy Collaro and Asif Shah.
With a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth Mike Provencher made a full-extension, diving catch in right center field on a sinking link drive to rob Brandon Newton and end the inning with the Saltdogs advantage still intact.
Wade Mackey (1-0) worked six innings, allowing two earned on 10 hits while striking out four and walking one to earn the victory. Jason Jarvis (1-3) went six-plus, allowing five runs on seven hits while walking five and striking out one. P.J. Zocchi pitched a perfect ninth to book his fifth save in as many chances.
Sioux City scratched a run across in the eighth off Brandon Cooney but Cooney made a nice play on a come backer, knocking the ball down and throwing out pinch-runner Brian Bistagne at home plate to keep it 5-4 in favor of Lincoln.
Joe Spiers and Collaro each produced multi-hit games. Jino Gonzalez was effective in a scoreless inning of relief, striking out two after being activated from the disabled list today. Gonzalez is expected to return to the starting rotation Tuesday night at Winnipeg.
The teams meet again Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. for the rubber match of the three-game set. Pete Parise (3-1, 3.60) is expected to pitch against Max Whieldon (1-2, 7.20). Radio coverage begins at 4:35 p.m. on KFOR 1240.