By Michael Dixon
LINCOLN—Cody Regis hit a two-run homer, John Sansone had a second consecutive three-hit night and the Saltdogs beat the Cleburne Railroaders 6-3 to split the home-opening four-game set at Haymarket Park on Sunday night.
After hitting 36 combined homers in the Can-Am League over the last two seasons, Regis hit his first as a ‘Dog – a two-run homer that extended Lincoln’s lead to three in the 6th inning.
John Sansone also hit his first homer as a ‘Dog – a solo shot that broke a 3-3 tie in the 4th inning. Sansone had three hits for a second straight game – including an RBI double as part of a three-run 2nd inning that gave the ‘Dogs an early lead.
Chase Simpson hit a three-run homer to tie the game with two outs in the 3rd, and all three runs were charged to rookie starter Tyson Cronin, who was making his first-ever start in pro baseball. The Washington native gave up three runs on four hits with one walk, four strikeouts and three hit-batters over 4.1 innings.
Evan Korson earned his first win as a Saltdog after spinning 3.2 scoreless innings to set up Austin Pettibone for his first save as a ‘Dog with a 1-2-3 9th that included a pair of strikeouts.
Tyler Moore had an RBI single, Nick Schulz reached two times and Curt Smith also had a pair of hits. Randolph Oduber’s team-high eight-game hitting streak came to an end, while Ivan Marin walked for a fifth time in the series and Ibarra drew a sixth walk in the series.
The ‘Dogs are now back to .500 on the year and will continue a seven-game homestand with the first of a three-game series against the St. Paul Saints on Monday evening at 5:05 p.m. Pregame coverage will begin at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN Lincoln 101.5 FM/1480 AM.