The Winnipeg Goldeyes had not even recorded six outs in Thursday's contest before Brandon Jacobs recorded his sixth RBI as the Saltdogs bats pounded the Goldeyes' pitching staff 13-0 at Haymarket Park.
Lincoln's win helped the Saltdogs even the series a game apiece heading into Saturday's contest in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We looked at this as a win-or-go home situation,” Jacobs said. “Just like any sport, to go on the road for three games will be tough to get a (win) in. We knew this was must win and went out there and put it on them early and hopefully we can go to Winnipeg and get two more wins.”
Jacobs helped the Saltdogs build a 5-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run double, then cleared the bases with a grand slam in the second inning. The Saltdogs left fielder added a seventh RBI with a single in the eighth.
“I saw the ball well and was looking for pitches to drive,” Jacobs said. “I wasn't trying to much with them and was just waiting for my pitch, and I got them.”
Lincoln scored 11 its 13 runs, including all seven of Jacobs' RBIs, with two outs. Clutch hitting had been addressed in the club house lately.
“It has been one of things we have been harping on the last couple of weeks. We've been bad at situational hitting and moving runners, and I think with two outs guys tend to lock in,” Jacobs said. “We just have to continue to do that.”
As the Lincoln offense clicked going 17-for-38 at the plate, starter Derek Gordon was just as impressive on the mound.
Gordon finished with eight strikeouts and allowed just four hits in seven innings of work. The Lincoln native didn't allow a baserunner until the fourth inning, crediting his offense for his poise on the bump.
“It makes it a lot easier and a weight off my shoulders that the (Saltdogs) hitters and offense today was going to swing the bats, and it showed,” Gordon said. “We had 17 hits, 13 runs and we shut them out. The hitters and pitching staff did their job tonight.”
Parker Frazier added two innings of relief, sitting down all six batters, including three on strikeouts.
The Saltdogs got a big help from Winnipeg starter Mikey O'Brien, who could not find a groove in the first inning, throwing 38 pitches. Manager Bobby Brown also credited the Saltdogs' offensive outburst after falling just short in Wednesday's 5-4 opening-series loss.
“All losses in a playoff are tough, especially one-run losses,” Brown said. “That was a tough one last night, but our guys responded the way we hoped they would.”
Lincoln now travels to Winnipeg, where game three starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Wingnuts 5, Gary SouthShore 2: Christian Stringer hit a two-run single in four-run third inning in Gary, Indiana, to help the Wingnuts take a 2-0 lead in their playoff series against the RailCats.