Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings dropped the series finale to the Bowling Green Hot Rods for a disappointing end to the homestand. The LumberKings' ninth inning rally fell just short as Bowling Green held on for a 4-2 victory.
The Hot Rods jumped out to an early lead on Clinton starter Victor Sanchez, making his first start in front of the home crowd. Bowling Green centerfielder Andrew Toles ripped an RBI triple, adding to his league-leading six triples. Justin O'Conner followed up with a single to score Toles, giving the Hot Rods a 2-0 tally after the first inning.
Bowling Green starter Jeff Ames mowed down the LumberKings lineup in his six innings of work. Ames pitched six scoreless frames allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out four batters.
A throwing error by the LumberKings in the fifth helped push the third run across. Jordy Lara fielded a nicely placed bunt from Tyler Goeddel, but the throw sailed out of play. With the runners advancing a base, Justin O'Conner delivered with a sacrifice fly to up the Hot Rods' lead to 3-0.
After another run in the sixth inning, the LumberKings found themselves trailing by four runs going into the ninth inning. With two outs in the ninth and a runner on, Lara crushed a home run over the left-center wall for his second home run of the season. Tyler Marlette doubled to bring the tying run to the plate for the LumberKings. However, Taylor Ard lined one directly at rightfielder Ryan Dunn for the final out of the game.
Jeff Ames improved to 4-0 on the season with six scoreless innings. Victor Sanchez picked up his first loss of the season, now 0-1 on the year. Marlette went a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, and Lara added a multi-hit game. The two combined for six of the LumberKings' seven hits.
The LumberKings will travel to Appleton to start a four-game series with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Wednesday. The LumberKings send left-hander Tyler Pike (1-2, 2.74) to the mound against Wisconsin right-hander Tyler Wagner (2-1, 3.13) for game one of a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM CT.