Appleton, WI - The Clinton LumberKings picked up their third straight win, taking game one over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers by an 8-4 final Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field. Clinton led from start to finish and gained a game on a handful of team s in the MWL Western Division.
Clinton grabbed the lead with three runs in the first. Southpaw Tyler Alexander didn't last past the third inning after allowing another run in the second.
The first six LumberKings reached base safely in the first. Zach Shank singled and moved to second on Jack Reinheimer's first of three singles. Alexander uncorked a wild pitch, which catcher Clint Coulter couldn't locate. Shank attempted to score from second on the play, but was nabbed at the plate on a backhanded flip from Coulter to Alexander covering. Reinheimer moved to third on the play and moments later, Marcus Littlewood was hit by pitch. Austin Wilson then singled home Littlewood from second following a passed ball that allowed Reinheimer to score from third. Tyler O'Neill drew a two-out walk before Joe DeCarlo knocked a run-scoring single, bringing home Wilson.
Clinton added a run in the second behind three straight singles to start the inning. Littlewood scored Shank on a sacrifice fly for the L'Kings' lone second inning run.
Wisconsin scored their first and only run against righty Lars Huijer in the bottom of the second. David Denson doubled to left and scored one out later on an Angel Ortega RBI groundout to second.
The score remained 4-1 Clinton until the seventh. An error by Ortega at short allowed Reinheimer to score from second, making it 5-1.
Huijer (1-1) departed after six one-run innings, where he allowed just four hits and one walk. In line for his first victory, the bottom of the seventh saw that opportunity nearly erased.
Reliever Thyago Vieira allowed three runs in the seventh, and Wisconsin had two runners in scoring position with one out. The Brazilian righty managed to escape, as he struck out Taylor Brennan and got a fly out, ending the threat.
Clinton's four-run lead was diminished to one only for a half inning. The L'Kings loaded the bases with one out. After Reinheimer struck out swinging, Littlewood lofted a clutch bases-clearing double down the left field line, putting Clinton back on top by four, 8-4.
Aaron Brooks came on in the eighth and delivered two shutout innings, scattering three hits.
The top of the L'Kings' lineup did major damage against the Timber Rattlers' pitchers, going a combined 8-for-16 with two doubles, five RBI, two walks, and six runs scored. Reinheimer (3-5, 2 RS, SB) and Littlewood (1-3, 2B, 4 RBI) paced the Clinton offensive attack.
The LumberKings (13-13) continue their road trip today, with the middle game of a three-game set in Appleton, WI, against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (12-15). Righty Edwin Diaz (1-1, 2.78) is scheduled to start for Clinton while Wisconsin will counter with right-hander Barrett Astin (3-2, 3.62). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM CT. The remaining five road broadcasts can be heard in their entirety on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and lumberkings.com.