A seven-run fourth inning was too much to overcome, as the Beloit Snappers (5-4) fell to the Clinton Lumber Kings (8-3) by the score of 9-5 Friday night from Ashford University Field in Clinton, IA.
After not playing for a full week, the Snappers took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but was quickly erased after the Lumber Kings responded with nine unanswered runs.
Nick Allen led off the game with a double to right field and swiped third to sit just 90 feet away with team-RBI leader Austin Beck at the plate. Beck added to his RBI total, with a base hit up the middle that scored Allen to give Beck his eighth RBI of the year. After Beck advanced to second on a Anthony Churlin fly out, Logan Farrar doubled home Beck to give the Snappers a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
Snappers starter Dakota Chalmers worked a quick 1-2-3 first inning, but found some trouble in the third inning as Louis Boyd reached on a throwing error by Jake Lumley. Lumley's error also allowed Joseph Rosa to score to trim the Snappers lead to 2-1.
Ryan Costello and Johnny Adams both homered in the fourth inning for the Lumber Kings, and two errors in the frame allowed the Lumber Kings to break open an 8-2 lead.
Jack Larsen then singled home Ariel Sandoval in the sixth to give the Lumber Kings a 9-2 advantage.
The Snappers offense stalled until the ninth inning when the team was down to their final three outs.
Newcomer Hunter Hargrove led off the ninth inning with a double to right field, and came around to score on a Lumley RBI single to narrow the deficit to 9-3. Allen and Mickey McDonald then both struck out swinging to bring the Snappers to their final out.
Beck then stepped to the plate and drilled a two-run home run to left field, his first as a Snapper and the team's first of the season, plating Lumley to narrow the deficit to four.
Unfortunately for the Snappers, Anthony Churlin would strike out to end the game and end the potential comeback.
For Beck, his three-RBI performance gives him 10 RBI to lead the team, and tie him at the time of print for fifth in the Midwest League.
The series continues with game two of the three-game set Saturday night at 6:300 p.m. at Ashford University Field. Right-hander Bryce Conley (1-0, 0.00) will start for the Snappers, as right-hander Tommy Romero (1-1, 0.79) will start for the Lumber Kings.
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.