Clinton, IA - Back home to begin the longest homestand of the second half amidst a season high win streak, the LumberKings run of five consecutive victories came to an end at the hands of the Beloit Snappers (15-27, 45-67). The visitors pounded out 14 hits and used a four-run sixth inning to pick up a series opening victory over Clinton (18-25, 48-63).
After back-to-back 1-0 shutouts over Burlington ran Clinton's shutout streak to 21 innings, the guests scored off of Jose Flores (3-3) just two batters into the game. The righty, who allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings, hit Melvin Mercedes in the shoulder. Mercedes moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt, and scored on BJ Boyd's RBI single. Boyd later made it 2-0 with an RBI double, that also scored the Beloit leadoff man, in the third.
The LumberKings answered with three runs in the third off of Beloit starter Junior Mendez (ND), as they took their only lead of the game. After an RBI single by Justin Seager, Marcus Littlewood homered for the seventh time of the season, as his second in four games put Clinton on top 3-2. The HR extended his hit streak to a season high 11. Mendez pitched just four innings, and the righty was charged with four runs in the no-decision.
Ryan Mathews' fourth inning solo home run tied it, and Justin Higley doubled home the run that put Beloit ahead for good. Flores allowed another run in the fifth, as Kevin McCoy replaced him prior to the sixth.
McCoy struggled in his lone inning, as the first six men reached against the righty, and the Snappers tagged him for four runs. Michael Soto's two-RBI triple highlighted the inning, and both men McCoy walked in the frame scored. Beloit led 9-3 after 5.5 innings.
Down six runs with twelve outs remaining, the LumberKings chipped away at the lead against the Beloit bullpen. Trevor Bayless (1-0) allowed an unearned run over his three innings of work, and Tyler Vail (SV, 3) surrendered five hits and three runs over two innings in route to the save. Aaron Barbosa, who reached base in all six plate appearances, began the eighth with a double. Jack Reinheimer drove in Barbosa, and he later scored on Brett Thomas' single that cut the deficit to two.
Against Vail in the ninth, the Clinton offense left the tying runner at second base and the winning run at first. Martin Peguero, who doubled to begin the inning, scored on Andy Peterson's third hit of the night. A fielder's choice by Barbosa and walk to Reinheimer brought Chantz Mack to the plate with two outs in the inning, but the left fielder flied out to his counterpart BJ Boyd to end the game.
Mack, Seager, and Peguero each lengthened their hit streak to six games, while eight of the nine LumberKings starters recorded at least one hit. Mercedes and Boyd combined for six of Beloit's 14 hits, and all but two Snappers starters tallied at least one. Peterson's three hit night was the first of his career, while Barbosa's three stolen bases matched a Clinton season high, as he equaled his own mark.
The LumberKings will turn to lefty Blake Holovach (6-4, 3.82) in Tuesday night's game, as they look to even the series. First pitch at Ashford University Field in Clinton is set for 6:30 CT. The LumberKings broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.