Appleton, WI - Late-inning magic showed its face for the Clinton LumberKings (22-28, 52-66) in their 50th game of the second half. The never-say-die LumberKings scored three runs with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, and Aaron Brooks recorded the final six outs for his fourth save in Clinton's 4-2 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (28-22, 64-55) Tuesday night at Fox Cities Stadium.
Down 2-1 entering the eighth, the LumberKings were battling a solid Timber Rattlers team, along with a 4-57 record when trailing after seven innings. But third baseman Joe DeCarlo and first baseman Jeff Zimmerman helped dig Clinton out of the rut and back in front for good off of Chad Thompson (2-1).
Austin Wilson doubled with one out in the frame, and after Tyler O'Neill struck out, DeCarlo smashed his second of two run-scoring singles into center, tying the game at two. Justin Seager then pounded a single to left, moving DeCarlo into scoring position. The left-handed hitting Zimmerman followed with a clutch, two-run double to left-center, giving Clinton their first lead of the night.
Aaron Brooks relieved the eventual winning pitcher, Paul Fry (3-4), in the bottom half of the eighth after the left-hander Fry struck out the only batter he faced - David Denson - on three pitches, ending the seventh. Brooks worked a 1-2-3 eighth with a pair of strikeouts and again faced the minimum in the ninth, thanks to a second-to-first, line drive double play for the first two outs.
Carlos Misell, making his first start since August 1 at Burlington, took a no-decision after yielding just one run on a solo shot by Wisconsin's Dustin DeMuth in the second. He scattered six hits, walked two, and struck out six batters over 4.2 innings.
DeCarlo's first RBI single drove home Tyler O'Neill from second base in the fourth inning. O'Neill had led off the inning with an infield single to short, and one pitch later, advanced to second on a balk by Wisconsin starter Clint Terry. The left-hander allowed that lone run on four hits over six innings, and he matched a season high with eight strikeouts.
The multi-RBI game by Zimmerman was his first since he went 2-for-4 with three RBI on June 21 at Beloit.
The first seven batters in the LumberKings' lineup each recorded at least one hit, the only two with multiple hits being DeCarlo and Zimmerman.
Ricardo Pereira was the first reliever called upon for Clinton, and he kept the game tied at one until he served up a two-out RBI double to Michael Ratterree in the bottom of the seventh.
The LumberKings now sit six games back of the Timber Rattlers in the Western Division wild card race.
The second game of the three-game series is set for 7:05 PM CT Wednesday night. Clinton, seeking their fifth straight road series win, will send right-hander Seon Gi Kim (1-2, 2.92) to the mound against Wisconsin right-hander Preston Gainey (4-7, 4.07). The broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, wcciradio.com, and lumberkings.com.