On a night when lightning filled the clouds, providing a backdrop at Haymarket Park, the Lincoln Saltdogs’ Ivan Marin provide a jolt of his own.
With the Saltdogs and Texas AirHogs knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Marin laced a fastball into the left-field berm to ultimately provide Lincoln with the game-winning run in the team’s 3-2 victory on Saturday night.
“I was just concentrating on getting a hit, and he started me off with a fastball before he threw the slider that I hit,” Marin said. “I’m usually not a power hitter. Last year I hit three and this is my first one this season, but at least it isn’t zero still. I wasn’t looking to hit a home run, but I surprised myself."
With the storm clouds swirling around Lincoln most of the night, the Saltdog bats went to work early in the contest.
Cody Regis got the scoring started in the bottom of the third inning when he doubled in Curt Smith, who had reached on a single. Two batters later, Randolph Oduber singled in Regis to give the Saltdogs a 2-0 lead after three innings as the menacing clouds looked like they could unleash a storm at any second.
“We were all ready to play tonight and whatever happens with the weather happens,” Oduber said. “Mentally we were ready to go out and get a win tonight.”
The win was put to the test as the AirHogs answered in the top of the fourth inning with two runs to even up the game.
With the score tied and starter Shairon Martis out of the game after five innings, Lincoln’s bullpen went to work and kept the AirHogs off the scoreboard over the final four innings. Tyler Anderson earned the win after a scoreless sixth and seventh, while Cameron McVey picked up a hold in the eighth before Austin Boyle earned his first save of the season following a clean ninth.
The win makes it three in a row for Lincoln after previously dropping six of seven games.
“Every win is big, and you have to keep playing even when you’re down a little bit,” Oduber said. “We just want to come in every day and play 100 percent.”
The Saltdogs look to make it four in a row Sunday against the AirHogs at Haymarket Park. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.