06/11/2018 10:22 PM
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Correlle Prime and Dillon Thomas each went deep, but the Texas AirHogs fell in the opener of the four-game set vs. the Lincoln Saltdogs 4-3 Monday evening at AirHogs Stadium.
Tyler Matzek got the start for the AirHogs and matched his season-high with six innings. He gave up three runs (three earned) while striking out four and walking three in a no-decision.
After Matzek left men on the corners in the top half of the first, the AirHog bats built him a lead in the bottom half. Prime started the party with his first AirHogs homer, a long shot to left off Lincoln starter Mikey O’Brien. Thomas followed with a mammoth blast of his own to straightaway center to make it 2-0. The longball was the fourth of the season for Thomas. He now has an extra-base hit in ten straight home games.
Chen Chen helped the AirHogs to build the lead to 3-1 in the fourth with an RBI single to score Song Yunqi. Lincoln erased the deficit in the fifth on a two-run homer by Curt Smith off Matzek that evened the game at 3-3.
Zheng Chaoqun (0-1) took over on the mound for Matzek in the seventh and retired the first two he faced via strikeout. Angel Reyes and Smith took him for back-to-back singles though with two outs, and Reyes scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3 Lincoln.
Dimitri Kourtis (2-0) picked up the win for the Saltdogs by firing 2.1 innings of one-hit, no-run ball after O’Brien lasted just four innings. Shairon Martis turned in a scoreless appearance before handing the ball over to Jose Jose for the save (his second of the season) in the ninth.
Chen Chen, Luan Chenchen and Yang Jin all finished with multiple hits for the AirHogs. Texas left seven on base in the game, while Lincoln left 11. Smith finished the game 5 for 5 with three RBIs.
Texas (4-18) and Lincoln (15-9) meet again tomorrow at 7:05. RHP Gan Quan (0-3, 6.19 ERA) is expected to start for the AirHogs. RHP Austin Robichaux (1-2, 8.49 ERA) will start for the Saltdogs.
The AirHogs – powered by Beijing Shougang Eagles will take on Lincoln and Wichita as part of the seven-game homestand this week. Visit AirHogsBaseball.com for more information. For the latest news, follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TXAirHogs. Media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[FRONT PAGE PHOTO BY BEN GARZA]