06/30/2012 10:45 PM
By Brian Bruce
LINCOLN, Neb. - The red hot Tommy Collaro lined a 1-2 fastball from Jake Wiley to center field with two outs in the ninth, giving the Lincoln Saltdogs a 3-2 lead and eventual win at Haymarket Park on Saturday night.
KC erased a 2-1 deficit in the top of the sixth, tying the game on an RBI single down the left field line by Enrique Cruz. Meanwhile, T-Bones starter Luke Irvine, a Liberty, Mo. native, pitched well after a shaky first inning when he gave up two runs. Although he didn’t get the decision, Irvine struck out eight and walked only two over six innings of work.
With a 2-2 tie, the game turned in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Provencher led off and reached on an error by T-Bones third baseman Enrique Cruz. Four batters later, with Jake Wiley pitching for Kansas City and the bases loaded with two outs, Collaro, who had homered in each of his last four games, sent an RBI line drive single to center that gave the Saltdogs a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, facing closer P.J. Zocchi, Hunter Mense led off with a single and was sacrificed to second, but the T-Bones couldn’t advance him past there before the final out.
Lefty slugger Brandon Jones raised his average to .349 with a homer and two singles in four at-bats. The home run, a liner over the right-center field fence, came in the first inning with two outs. Jones scored Kansas City’s other run in sixth on the hit by Cruz.
The loss drops Kansas City’s record to 22-20. The T-Bones will send left-hander Devin Anderson (1-4; 4.43 ERA) to the mound on Sunday afternoon for game three of the four-game series, with the first pitch slated for 5:05 at Haymarket Park. The game can be heard in Kansas City on the KMBZ Business Channel (1660 AM) or online at www.tbonesbaseball.com.