07/03/2017 8:41 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE -- The Texas AirHogs dropped a wild duel with the Lincoln Saltdogs 3-1 in 10 innings at AirHogs Stadium Monday. The AirHogs tied the contest at 1 in the bottom of the 9th before falling in the 1st extra frame.
Texas got a superb start from TJ Bozeman, who went 7 innings vs. the Saltdogs, giving up 0 runs and 3 hits while walking 1 and issuing 2 HBPs. Bozeman struck out a season-high 8 in his longest start of the season.
Bozeman took a no-decision thanks in large part to the strength of his opponent on the mound. Saltdogs starter Derek Gordon went 8, giving up 3 hits of his own while walking 2 and striking out 9 for a 2nd straight start. He also got a no-decision.
The contest remained tied at 0-0 going to the 9th. No one had reached 3rd base before Cesar Valera smacked a home run to left field off AirHogs reliever Jacob Morris to give Lincoln a 1-0 advantage.
Michael Wagner came on for the visitors to go for his 9th save of the season in the bottom of the 9th. Levi Scott broke up the bid with a base hit to right to score Trevor Sealey and tie the game at 1. Sealey had entered the game after Alvaro Rondon led the bottom of the 9th off with a single and exited the game due to injury.
Luis De La Cruz boarded 3 with walks in the top of the 10th before a crucial mistake helped Lincoln take the lead. After walking Curt Smith, De La Cruz, before being granted time to exchange baseballs, threw a live ball off the field of play toward the AirHogs dugout. The resulting penalty allowed the 3 Saltdogs runners to each advance 2 bases. Nathaniel Maggio and Ivan Marin, who had each drawn bases on balls earlier in the frame, scored while Smith advanced the 3rd.
The AirHogs boarded Beamer Weems with a single in the bottom of the 10th but could not break through again against Wagner, who improved to 2-1 in picking up the win. De La Cruz dropped to 0-3. All 3 of his losses this year have come against Lincoln. The AirHogs are now 2-3 in extra inning games this season. The Saltdogs are now 4-1.
The AirHogs (14-30) battle the Saltdogs (25-17) again tomorrow. LHP Michael Freeman (1-1, 2.81 ERA) will start for the AirHogs vs. RHP Carlos Pimentel (5-1, 3.64 ERA) for Lincoln. A live broadcast will be available at mixlr.com/TXAirHogs and americanassociationbaseball.tv.
Tickets for the AirHogs’ 9-game homestand, including tomorrow’s 4th of July contest, are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. For the latest information on the AirHogs, follow the team on Twitter and Facebook @TXAirHogs.
[FRONT PAGE PANEL PHOTO BY WALTER TENERY]