Lincoln – Cory Burleson and Patric Tolentino combined for seven RBI, as the Red team opened up the annual Red/White Series with an 8-6 win Thursday afternoon at Hawks Field.
Burleson went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored while Tolentino, a junior college transfer, had two hits on the afternoon, including a three-run double to center in the sixth inning to break open a one-run game.
Trailing 4-2, the Reds fought back, scoring three times against White starter Michael Mariot, as a defensive lapse led to a pair of runs. After a Cade Thompson single, Kale Kiser hit a grounder to first to begin a potential double play, but the throw to second was wide of the bag, putting two on with no outs. Tolentino laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position before Burleson ripped a two-run double into left to tie the game. He eventually scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Kiser scored three times on the afternoon.
That was enough for Red starter Casey Hauptman, who went the first five innings for the win. The junior scattered seven hits and fanning five while issuing only one walk. Tolentino then gave the Reds some breathing room in the sixth, sending a two-run double to center off of Mike Nesseth to make it an 8-4 ballgame.
Mariot allowed three earned runs on six hits over 4.1 innings of work in the loss, as the right-hander fanned three and walked only one after surviving a slow first inning. Mariot retired the first two hitters, but a pair of singles by Kiser and Tolentino started the rally before Burleson cleared the bases with a two-run double to right center.
The Whites got on the board against Hauptman in the fourth, scoring three times to take a one-run lead. Boomer Collins opened the frame with a single before Cody Asche, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, plated Collins with a double to right center. Two batters later, Pat Hirschberg tied the score with an RBI triple to right before coming home on a wild pitch.
Hirschberg, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, continued his hitting in the fifth, making it a 4-2 game with a two-out RBI single. In the seventh, the Whites made one last rally, as Chad Christensen drew a one-out walk before coming home on Hirschberg’s third hit of the day, a two-run shot into the right field bullpen, to make it 8-6.
The Whites threatened again against reliever Khris Tate, loading the bases on a walk, a single and a hit batter, the right-hander retired the final two hitters to put the Reds ahead 1-0 in the series.
The Red/White Series will continue Friday afternoon with a 3 p.m. first pitch at Hawks Field. Admission is free and concession stand will be open.