Bowling Green, KY - For the second night in a row, the Clinton LumberKings used a five run frame to take a victory at Bowling Green Ballpark. The win got the LumberKings back to .500 (7-7) on the season and clinched the series from the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
A five run sixth inning in Thursday night's game took Clinton from a deficit to the lead for good, while a five run first inning Friday night put the LumberKings ahead before starter Jake Zokan had to throw a pitch. Hot Rods starter Chris Kirsch (0-3) came in off an outing in which he allowed six runs on nine hits, and matched that line in the loss to the LumberKings.
The five run first saw the Clinton pound out five hits, including three doubles, one each by Marcus Littlewood, Joe DeCarlo, and Justin Seager. DeCarlo's extra base hit plated Littlewood and Austin Wilson and Seager's scored DeCarlo. The first also saw Martin Peguero pick up two RBI's for the second consecutive game. Clinton added one more in the second as Marcus Littlewood picked up his first home run of 2014.
The big first inning proved to be more than enough for Zokan (1-0) to pick up his first MWL victory. The lefty cruised through five innings, as he scattered five hits and allowed only one run. Zokan has allowed no more than two runs in each of his first three A-ball starts.
Zokan's only blemish was a single run in the fifth with Clinton already ahead 6-0. After a leadoff single by Pat Blair, Juniel Querecuto drove him in with his second double of the series. Zokan left the game with a five run lead and Ramire Cleto followed with his best outing of the season, three shutout innings. Marc Bordonaro pitched a scoreless ninth and rebounded well from his rough outing vs. Dayton.
For the 12th time in 14 games, the LumberKings starting pitcher allowed two or fewer runs. The top four starters in the Clinton rotation have yet to allow more than two runs in 12 combined starts. Seven different LumberKings picked up at least one hit, Littlewood, DeCarlo, and Peguero each had two. DeCarlo and Peguero each had multiple RBI's for the second time this season.
Lars Huijer is scheduled to make his first start of 2014 for Clinton in the series finale on Saturday, as Tommy Burns (0-2, 45.00) has been moved to the bullpen. Bowling Green is set to send Hunter Wood in an effort to avoid the sweep and the Hot Rods' 13th consecutive loss. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 CT from Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, KY. The broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.