The Beloit Snappers (40-43) used clutch hitting and mistakes from the Clinton LumberKings (48-37) to win game one of a four-game series 9-5 at Pohlman Field in front of 728 fans.
The game was broken open in the fifth inning. The Snappers batted around, scoring five runs on four hits and were aided on two errors on the LumberKings.
In the fifth with the Snappers already leading 4-0, Mickey McDonald opened it up with an RBI infield single to score Hunter Hargrove. A fielding error by LumberKing Eugene Helder allowed JaVon Shelby to reach safely and plate a run. Lazaro Armenteros singled in the infield, scoring McDonald. Helder committed both errors by Clinton in the game.
Hargrove, who led off the inning with a single, came up a second time and singled to right to score Shelby. The inning would end when Skyler Weber was gunned out trying to score, but the Snappers tacked on five runs, extending their lead to 9-1 and never looked back.
Snappers starter Jean Ruiz had his best performance of the season and earned his first win as a starter this season. He went five innings and allowed just three hits and one walk. He tied his career high with seven strikeouts.
A Hargrove RBI double in the first scored Nick Allen with two outs to open the scoring. A two-run single by Austin Beck in the second inning pushed the lead to 3-0 and a Shelby triple in the third brought Ryan Gridley home to make it 4-0.
LumberKings starter Oliver Jaskie struggled all night, going just four innings and giving up five runs and five walks to just two strikeouts. On the year against Beloit, he is 0-2 and has given up 19 runs.
Other than Ruiz, it was Joseph Camacho, Heath Bowers and Josh Reagan who finished off the final four innings. Snappers pitching combined for 12 strikeouts.
The LumberKings scored in the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. The highlight of their night was back-to-back home runs by Keegan McGovern and Johnny Adams in the seventh inning. An RBI single by Helder in the ninth got them five runs, but that was the closest they would come before Reagan struck out McGovern to end the game.
The Snappers didn't hit the cover off the ball, getting just nine hits. Aside from the errors, The LumberKings helped Beloit by surrendering nine walks, two away from their season high of 11.
Hunter Hargrove went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI to lead the Snappers on offense. The four hits tied his career high, his second four-hit night of the season and the fifth overall by a Snapper this season.
For the Snappers, they won their third straight game. It is their eighth separate three-game winning streak of the season and they will be going for their first four-game win streak of the season Saturday. It was just their third win of the season against Clinton, now sitting at 3-7 on the season against the LumberKings.
The Snappers will resume this four-game series against the LumberKings Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. Left-hander Ivan Andueza (0-4, 4.12) will be on the rubber to start game two.
Saturday's game is Princess and Superhero Day at the ballpark. Children dressed up as a superhero or princess get into the game for free. Spider Hero and Polynesian Princess will be at the game, brought to you by Once Upon A Dream Performances.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. For more ticket information, contact the Snappers office at (608) 362-2272 or on our website, www.snappersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.