SIOUX CITY, IOWA – The Lincoln Saltdogs defeated the Sioux City Explorers on Sunday afternoon 8-4. With the result, the Saltdogs and Explorers will meet in a winner take all game on Monday afternoon at 2:05 pm. 

The two teams traded a run in the first inning. A two out triple by Ryan Long set up an RBI single for Jason Rogers to give Lincoln the initial advantage of 1-0. Sioux City responded with a two out bloop single from Gabe Snyder to tie it 1-1. 

In the third Snyder doubled, with one out and advanced to third on an error on the play. He scored on an Ademar Rifaela ground out to give the X’s a 2-1 lead. 

Miguel Sierra homered to lead off the fourth inning, giving the Explorers a 3-1 lead heading into the fifth. 

In the top of the fifth an error by the Sioux City shortstop with one out opened the door to a Saltdogs rally. Rayder Ascanio singled to drive in a run and make it 3-2. Rogers produced a second two out single that drove in a pair to hand Lincoln a 4-3 lead. 

The four runs were charged to Explorers starting pitcher Nivaldo Rodriguez (3-1) who took the loss. Of the four runs allowed however only one was earned, he surrendered four hits and four walks and racked up nine strikeouts. 

Keeping Sioux City’s offense in check was Garrett Delano (8-3) as he tossed six innings, allowing three runs, two earned on five hits with a pair of walks and no strikeouts. 

Lincoln broke the game open in the eighth. After two quick outs, the Saltdogs drew three consecutive walks to load the bases. Sioux City proceeded to plunk back to back batters to bring home two runs before another Ascanio two out single drove in two runs to push Lincoln’s lead to 8-3. 

Between the fifth and eighth inning rallies, Lincoln scored seven runs on only three hits, with five walks, two hit batters and an error by Sioux City. 

The X’s grabbed a run in the bottom of the eighth with Rifaela driving in Snyder on a double to give the game its final score of 8-4. Matt Cronin (3) entered with the tying run on deck and proceeded to secure the final six outs, and struck out the side in the ninth to earn the save. 

The Explorers and Saltdogs meet up for a winner take all game 100 of the season on Monday starting at 2:05 pm. The winner will secure the final postseason bid in the American Association. Sioux City is scheduled to throw right hander Zach Hedges (4-7, 5.44) and Lincoln has yet to announce their starter.