Nate Wilder hit a go-ahead grand slam off Rockland Boulders’ reliever Rob Savarese to propel Lincoln over the Boulders, 7-6, Sunday evening at Provident Bank Park in Pomona.
The Saltdogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning against Boulders' starter Jon Velasquez. Wilberto Ortiz opened the scoring with a solo homer and later in the frame Mike Provencher put his team up by three with a two-run single.
But Rockland battled back to take the lead, scoring four runs in the third. After Chris Valencia knocked in Jon Smith with a sacrifice fly, Qualon Millender hit an RBI single, followed by a run-scoring double off the bat of Keith Brachold. Phil Cuadrado then gave the Boulders the advantage with an RBI single of his own.
The Boulders added another run in the fifth on a Cuadrado double, his second RBI of the night. Lincoln, however, put two runners on base in the sixth, which ended Velasquez’s evening. He allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings.
Savaraese was the first out of the bullpen for the Boulders and he proceeded to walk AJ Miller. That loaded the bases for Wilder, who hit a line drive grand slam over the right field fence. Savarese, who took the loss, allowed two earned runs and did not record an out.
The Lincoln bullpen held the Boulders in check until the bottom of the ninth, when Smith led off the inning with his tenth home run of the season. The blast drew the Boulders to within one run, but that’s as close as they would get.
Brachold, meanwhile, went 1-4 with an RBI, but did not go deep, so he remains two homers shy of Eddie Lantigua's single season home run record of 31, which was set back in 2005. Brachold needs three long balls in the final game of the season to break the mark.
The Boulders finish up the 2012 season today at 2 p.m. with Pat Moran on the hill.