The Lincoln Saltdogs' bats were as hot as the Nebraska sun Sunday, sweeping the Salina Stockade with a 17-4 victory at Haymarket Park for a franchise record 11 straight wins at home.
The previous record was set from the end of the 2006 season and beginning of the 2007 season.
“We have a great club, and guys are working together,” outfielder Randolph Oduber said. “When a team plays together as team, they are going to play good. Even when we are down guys are together, nobody is separated from each other, and I think the best thing that you can do is everybody stay together and win together.”
Christian Ibarra, Oduber and Dashenko Ricardo each belted a three-run home run and Trever Adams added a grand slam as the Lincoln offense gave starter Derek Gordon a lot of wiggle room on the mound.
“You want to keep on going, because when you have close games, that is what you have to do,” Oduber added. “You can't give up at-bats, because every at-bat counts during the season. Even if it is a close or a game like today, you have to fight for your at-bats.
“Gordon threw a hell of a game and we just told him keep pounding the strike zone.”
Gordon went the distance, allowing three earned runs on 12 hits but really fell into trouble only one time to get manager Bobby Brown out of the dugout for a mound visit. With a 17-3, cushion the Lincoln Southeast alum loaded the bases with one out in the ninth.
“I left it up to him, (Gordon) knew what his pitch count was,” Brown said. “It wasn't outrageous or anything like that. He is a big, strong kid, with good mechanics and you can feel comfortable leaving him out there.”
Salina took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but with the wind blowing out to left field, Lincoln responded with the long ball.
The Saltdogs took a 4-1 lead off Ibarra's three-run blast in the bottom of the frame. Oduber and Ricardo added their three-run homers in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Salina cut the lead to 10-3 in the sixth, but Adams exploded at the chance with the bases loaded, hitting his fourth home run of the season.
Adams' home runs have come after making an adjustment at the plate.
“I've just had a lot of down time and you get your swings in the offseason but you don't do it with live pitching so you don't know when some of the moves you are making, you are doing it a little slower than you are accustomed to when you get back into live pitching,” Adams said. “The swing looks there and just not getting in front of the plate, and I just went to work a little bit making sure I'm getting off my backside and I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable.”
Lincoln hits the road with a four-game series against Fargo-Moorhead beginning Monday at 7 p.m.