Peoria, IL - The Clinton LumberKings (7-11, 37-49) were unable to pick up a third consecutive victory, as they fell to the Peoria Chiefs (12-7, 49-39) 4-3 at Dozer Park Wednesday night.
LumberKing starter Carlos Misell recorded his fourth quality start of the season, and second in as many starts, as he allowed three earned runs over 6.2 innings in a no-decision. Neither starter factored in the final, as Chiefs righty Alex Reyes left after 4.2 innings. Reyes gave up three runs (two earned), but only allowed three hits.
The visitors started the scoring, as the LumberKings plated a run in the first inning. After Aaron Barbosa drew a leadoff walk, the outfielder stole second and third, and scored on a Reyes wild pitch. The lead was short lived, as the Chiefs then scored single runs in the second, third, and the fourth.
After Misell retired the first five batters of the game, he allowed a two-out double to Ronald Castillo, who scored one batter later on a soft single by Michael Schulze. It was not the last time Schulze or Castillo factored in the ballgame. Misell allowed another two-out run in the third, as Carson Kelly put Peoria ahead 2-1 with an RBI single.
Both sides struck for a single run in the fourth. Chantz Mack reached on a three base error by center fielder Vaughn Bryan to begin the inning. After Isaiah Yates walked, was caught stealing, and Brett Thomas struck out, Martin Peguero provided two-out offense of his own with an RBI single that tied the game at two. But once again, the Chiefs answered, as Ronald Castillo, in his first game off of the disabled list, homered to begin the bottom of the inning. Castillo had the only two extra base hits of the night for Peoria.
The LumberKings responded just half an inning later, as Luis Caballero drove in Christian Carmichael with a sacrifice fly that tied the score at three. Though that was the final time the LumberKings scored, as the Chiefs bullpen allowed just one base runner over the final 4.1 shutout innings.
Misell set down the first two hitters in the seventh, before he issued a walk to Richy Pedroza that ended his night. Paul Fry (1-3) then allowed an infield single and a walk, but caught Justin Ringo looking as the Chiefs left the bases loaded in the seventh. Following the strikeout, home plate umpire Mike Savakinis tossed Ringo for arguing called strike three.
Carson Kelly singled off of Fry to begin the eighth. After a sacrifice bunt by Steve Bean and an intentional walk to Castillo, Schulze once again picked up an RBI single, the eventual game winner. Steven Sabatino (5-1) picked up the victory with a perfect eighth and ninth inning.
LumberKings hitters struck out 14 times, one shy of the season high, and walked only twice. Christian Carmichael had three of the LumberKings four hits in the game, his third game with at least three hits. The top five in the LumberKings order went 0-17 with seven strikeouts vs. the three Peoria pitchers.
The series finale is scheduled for Thursday night at Dozer Park. Blake Holovach (4-2, 4.02) will make his second start of the season for Clinton, while lefty Chase Brookshire (2-4, 4.65) makes his first start vs. the LumberKings, and third appearance of the year vs. Clinton. First pitch is set for 6:30. The LumberKings broadcast can be heard on 100.3 FM WCCI, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.