Bowling Green, KY - The Clinton LumberKings used a 5-run 6th inning to snap a four-game losing streak Thursday night against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The win was the L'Kings' sixth of the season, and they picked up a game on five of the six teams in front of them in the Midwest League Western Division with the victory.
Right-hander Carlos Misell, making his third professional start, retired the first nine batters he faced. His offense backed him with a run in the second, a one-out RBI double by Lonnie Kauppila off the wall in left which scored Jeff Zimmerman.
The Hot Rods finally got to Misell in the fourth, tying the game at one. Johnny Field doubled to lead off the inning and scored two outs later on Darryl George's RBI single in front of a diving Arby Fields in center.
Bowling Green (2-11) grabbed their first and only lead of the night with another run in the fifth. Juniel Querecuto singled to start the frame and moved to third after James Harris singled. Pat Blair gave the Hot Rods a 2-1 lead on a safety squeeze, scoring Querecuto.
Clinton (6-7) answered against left-handers Jordan Harrison and Stone Speer in the sixth. After a strong five innings, Harrison departed after walking Marcus Littlewood and a Jack Reinheimer single beginning the sixth.
Speer entered from the left field pen in relief of Harrison and threw a first pitch fastball to Tyler O'Neill. The Clinton slugger drove the pitch into the L'Kings' bullpen in right for a 3-run homer, his third of the season, giving Clinton a 4-2 lead. Zimmerman and Zach Shank followed with back-to-back walks, and one out later, Martin Peguero knocked a 2-run double to left.
Up 6-2, the L'Kings opted to use the bullpen for the final four innings. Blake Holovach relieved Misell in the sixth and lasted two innings, allowing a leadoff inside-the-park home run to Granden Goetzman in the seventh. O'Neill and Fields both reached for the line drive in left-center, but neither could knock it down and Goetzman beat Reinheimer's relay to Littlewood at the plate for his second homer.
Emilio Pagan entered in the 8th, struck out four and picked up his third save in three tries. The right-hander allowed one unearned run in the 9th, and struck out Field with a runner at second to end the game.
Misell (3-0) allowed two runs on four hits and one walk in five innings. The Venezuelan has three of Clinton's six wins. Harrison (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Hot Rods, who have lost 11 consecutive games and sit in last place in the MWL Eastern Division.
Prior to Thursday's game, the LumberKings had recorded 39 hits - 36 being singles - in their previous five games. Four of their six hits against the Hot Rods went for extra bases, including O'Neill's three-run shot.
The LumberKings look to get back to .500 Friday with lefty Jake Zokan (0-0, 2.70) scheduled to make his third MWL start. Left-hander Chris Kirsch (0-2, 7.00) is on tap for the Hot Rods in the second game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM CT from Bowling Green Ballpark. The broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM and WCCIRadio.com.