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Birds bats silent in Lincoln

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LINCOLN, Neb. – After outscoring the Lincoln Saltdogs 12-6 in the first two games of a four-game series, the Sioux Falls Pheasants’ offense sputtered in a 7-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Haymarket Park.

The Pheasants (39-50) mustered just three hits, matching a season low, against Lincoln starter Ryan Sheldon (6-4). Sheldon tossed seven innings, giving up only one run with three walks and six strikeouts.

Chris McMurray opened Lincoln’s scoring with a two-run home run to center field in the second inning. It was McMurray’s second home run of the series and his 18th of the year.

Jared Bolden cracked an RBI double in the top of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 2-1, but Lincoln unloaded for a five-run rally in the bottom half. The big blow came from Wilberto Ortiz, who belted a three-run home run to left field, also his second of the series.

Pete Gehle (6-8) took the loss, allowing all seven runs and eight hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Dusty Gober and newcomer Jordan Wellander combined for four scoreless inning of relief.

The Pheasants took the first two games series and can still clinch a victory in the finale at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday, August 23 in Lincoln, Neb.
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