Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings continued their surge up the MWL Western Division standings, sweeping two games Tuesday afternoon against the Burlington Bees at Ashford University Field. The L'Kings rallied to take game one, 7-4, and won in walk-off fashion for the first time this season in the nightcap, 3-2.
Game one picked up in the bottom of the second inning due to Monday night's game being suspended because of severe weather in the Clinton area. The L'Kings jumped on top 2-1 in the second, thanks to an Ian Miller run-scoring single.
Burlington answered in the third, scoring three runs off of L'Kings reliever Rafael Pineda. The right-hander served up a three-run home run to Eric Aguilera, the only blemish on his three-inning outing.
Clinton maintained consistency at the plate, scoring single runs in the third, sixth, and seventh innings, and also put up a two-spot in the fourth. Jeff Zimmerman lofted his third home run of the season out to left, making it a 4-3 deficit, and Clinton took the lead for good in the fourth. Jack Reinheimed knotted the game at four with a RBI bunt single, then raced around the bases on a Marcus Littlewood RBI double.
The L'Kings got their sixth-inning run on Corey Simpson's first home run in the Midwest League, and added an insurance run in the seventh on a Joe DeCarlo sacrifice fly.
Pineda (3-2) earned the win and reliever Blake Holovach also had his best outing of 2014 with three shutout innings. Emilio Pagan came on in the ninth and closed out his sixth save of the season, pitching around a one-out walk. Bees righty Michael Smith (2-2) suffered his second loss of the season.
Every L'Kings starter recorded at least one hit in the contest, led by Miller and DeCarlo who both had two-hit games.
In game two, Clinton and Burlington were tied 0-0 until the home half of the third. Miller laced his fourth triple of the season to the right-field corner, bringing home Christian Carmichael from first.
L'Kings starter Jose Flores didn't keep the lead for long. Burlington's Chad Hinshaw and Mike Fish hit back-to-back solo home runs, staking the Bees a 2-1 advantage.
In the fifth inning, newcomer Chantz Mack hit an opposite field solo home run, tying the game at two.
The LumberKings had a golden chance in the seventh to walk-off after loading the bases with one out, but Corey Simpson struck out swinging and Reinheimer grounded out to second, sending the game to extras.
Clinton's Thyago Vieira (1-1) threw two shutout innings in the eighth and ninth, and Reinheimer got another chance at a walk-off hit.
And he delivered.
Reinheimer fouled off a series of pitches down in the count 1-and-2 and finally managed to score Martin Peguero from third with a bloop single up the line in right.
Clinton now sits a season-high four games above .500. The two losses extended the Bees losing streak to six, and they have now lost nine of 10 games.
Zimmerman had hits in both games, extending his season-high hit streak to eight games.
Clinton (20-16) will wrap up their series with Burlington (16-21) tomorrow, another 12:30 PM CT start at Ashford University Field. Lars Huijer (2-1, 2.87) will throw for Clinton and will be opposed by Bees right-hander Elliot Morris. The game can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, wcciradio.com, and lumberkings.com.