Clinton, IA -The Clinton LumberKings evened the series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods at one game apiece with a 5-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Ashford University Field. Another strong performance from Clinton's pitching staff kept the Hot Rods' offense in check, and Jabari Henry's home run in the fifth inning proved the difference.
Bowling Green opened the scoring in the fourth inning marking the first time in ten games the LumberKings failed to score first. The Hots Rods took the early lead on an RBI single from Marty Gantt, driving in Luke Maile to make it 1-0.
The LumberKings did not let the Hot Rods' lead last very long. In the fifth inning, Clinton scored two runs off Hot Rods' starter Taylor Guerrieri. Ketel Marte reached on a drag bunt single to put a runner on for Jabari Henry. The LumberKings' centerfielder crushed a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for his fourth home run of the season, and third home run in three games. The two-run shot put Clinton ahead 2-1.
Clinton added three runs in the sixth inning to provide some crucial insurance. Guillermo Pimentel led off the inning with a single. With two outs and the runner on second, Marcus Littlewood hit a line drive to the left side of the infield. The ball struck the field umpire, causing a dead ball ruling, which allowed Littlewood to reach on the base hit as Pimentel returned to second base. Jordy Lara launched a drive off the left-center wall, driving in both runners on the two-run double. Taylor Ard followed with a double of his own to score Lara, bringing the Clinton lead to 5-1.
The Hot Rods plated a run in the ninth, but the LumberKings were able to maintain their lead. Oliver Garcia closed out the victory for the LumberKings. Scott DeCecco submitted another strong start, going six innings while only allowing one run on four hits. The southpaw picked up his third victory of the season.
Every batter in the LumberKings' lineup recorded at least one base hit. Patrick Kivlehan extended his hitting streak to ten games with a pair of singles. Jordy Lara put together a multi-hit game, going 3-for-3 on the day.
The LumberKings will try to get the series win on Monday afternoon at Ashford University Field. The LumberKings send right-hander Victory Sanchez (0-0, 2.25) to the mound against Bowling Green right-hander Jeff Ames (3-0, 1.80) for the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 PM CT.