Saltdogs lose season opener

Despite a valiant comeback effort in the seventh inning, the Lincoln Saltdogs fell to the Shreveport-Bossier Captains 9-7 on opening day in front of an overflow crowd of 4.317 at Fair Grounds Field Wednesday afternoon.

 
Trailing 8-2 after six innings, Lincoln sprung for five runs in the top of the seventh, including a mammoth three-run home run by Jon Nelson down the left field line, his first of the season.
 
Shreveport-Bossier added an unearned insurance run in the bottom of the eigth before closer Dan Griffin slammed the door with a perfect ninth to earn the save, his first.
 
Richard Salazar (1-0) pitched six innings, allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits while striking out seven and walking three to earn the victory.  Lindsay Gulin (0-1) worked four innings, allowing six runs – four earned – on eight hits with a strikeout and no walks to take the loss.
 
Nelson went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBI.  Blake Gailen went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI and Curt Smith went 2-for-3 with a double and a run, coming off the bench.
 
The Captains scored two runs in each of the first three innings, and in four of the first five to take a big early lead they would not relinquish.
 
Lincoln committed three errors in the ballgame, leading to three unearned runs.  Shreveport committed two errors, leading to one unearned tally.
 
The teams meet again Thursday night at 7:05 p.m for game two of the four-game series.  Tim Brown is slated to pitch for the Saltdogs against Osvaldo Rodriguez.
 
The Lincoln Saltdogs play their home opener on May 24 against the Kansas City T-Bones.  For team and ticket information, go to www.saltdogs.com.