Clinton, IA - A walk-off loss on their home field started the night, and an eventual blowout sealed a pair of losses for the LumberKings (7-14, 37-52), as the visiting Cedar Rapids Kernels (9-12, 40-51) took the resumption of a suspended game 5-4, and the scheduled matchup 6-1.
Friday night began with a unique situation, with the Kernels as the "home" team at Ashford University Field, as the two teams completed a game that began at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids on June 30th. That game resumed with a 3-3 score just prior to the start of the 10th inning.
After each side went scoreless in the 10th, the LumberKings jumped on top 4-3 in the 11th on Jeff Zimmerman's RBI single. Clinton then had men on first and third with only one out, but Isaiah Yates and Martin Peguero both grounded out. The missed opportunity for another run cost the hometown club, playing as the visitors.
Nick Valenza (0-2), who began the 10th inning, allowed a leadoff single to Jon Murphy, who eventually scored the game-tying run. Bo Altobelli laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Valenza's throw sailed past Justin Seager at first base and put runners on second and third with no one out. After Ryan Walker flied out to shallow LF and the runners held, Chad Christensen hit a high chopper over the head of the pulled in Martin Peguero at second base, both Murphy and Altobelli scored, as the Kernels walked off with a 5-4 victory. Jake Reed (1-0) picked up the win in his second appearance of the season.
Though the second game remained within one run through seven innings, a four run eighth set up the Kernels for a smooth 6-1 victory. Kohl Stewart (2-5) picked up his second win of the season, both in matchups in the LumberKings' ballpark. Stewart allowed only one run and six hits over six innings, as he lowered his ERA to 2.58 overall and 2.14 in five starts vs. Clinton.
The LumberKings got the scoring started in the nightcap. Zimmerman led off the third inning with a single, and moved to third on Lonnie Kauppila's double. With one out Luis Caballero drove in Zimmerman on a fly out to right field. Half an inning later, Seon Gi Kim, who got the spot start for the LumberKings, allowed a leadoff double to Logan Wade. After he moved to third on Mitch Garvers double play, he scored on Kim's wild pitch. The score remained 1-1 until the 7th, when Cedar Rapids went ahead for good on an RBI single by Murphy.
The Kernels put the game away with a four run eighth inning, all off of Aaron Brooks. The righty allowed triples to Christensen and Jason Kanzler, walked two, and gave up an RBI single to Garver in the frame. Ahead 6-1 in the ninth, Nick Burdi rebounded from his first outing vs. the LumberKings, as he struck out the side in order. The 2014 second round pick allowed four runs and did not retire a batter in his professional debut vs. Clinton on June 29th.
The loss in the first game handed the Kernels a victory in a four game series, and goes down as the LumberKings' 18th loss in June (7-18). Lonnie Kauppila had his second consecutive three-hit game, has eight hits in his past three starts, and at lease one hit in seven of his past eight. Clinton went 0-6 with RISP, and left eight on base in the day's finale.
The series will continue Saturday night, as Aaron Slegers (5-6, 5.18) and Jose Flores (2-0, 3.88) start for Cedar Rapids and Clinton. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 CT at Ashford University Field. The LumberKings broadcast can be heard on 100.3 FM WCCI, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.