The Beloit Snappers (62-60) split Friday night's doubleheader with the Clinton LumberKings (64-60) taking game two 6-5.
Leading 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the LumberKings came within a run of the Snappers as they rallied for five runs to draw within a single run. That, however, is as close as Clinton would get as they fell 6-5 to Beloit in game two.
In both games the Snappers held early leads, only to see them shrink by the pesky LumberKings. In game one, the Snappers led 2-0, and then 4-2 before the LumberKings put up five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in game one to take a 7-4 lead before both teams added runs to make it an 8-5 final in game one.
In game one Mickey McDonald started the scoring as he drilled a two-run home run to right, scoring Jack Meggs to put the Snappers up 2-0. Clinton responded with a two-run homer of their own off the bat of Johhny Adams who plated Ariel Sandoval to tie the game at 2.
Ryan Gridley then added a solo shot in the 4th to put Beloit up 3-2 before Logan Farrar hit a sac fly in the fifth to bring home Austin Beck to make it a 4-2 game.
Keegan McGovern then put the LumberKings on top for good in game one sending a three-run homer to put Clinton ahead 5-4 before adding two more runs in the frame to take a 7-4 lead.
In game two, the Snappers were paced early by good pitching from starter Gus Varland who went 3.2 scoreless innings while walking one and striking out a career-best nine hitters. Varland unfortunately did not go the minimum to factor into the decision. Ty Damron then picked up where the 14th round pick left off and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while adding three strikeouts and notched his fourth win, and his first since returning to the Snappers from Stockton.
Beloit bats put up a four-spot in the second and a pair in the third to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Mickey McDonald singled home Farrar, and Gridley scored McDonald to put Beloit up 3-0 early with Gridley later scoring on an error to make it 4-0.
Miguel Mercedes then launched a two-run homer in the third to plate Beck and himself to up the Snappers lead to 6-0.
Clinton then put together a five-run inning in the sixth to draw within a run, capped off by a Dimas Ojeda grand slam.
Nick Highberger was summoned for relief in the sixth after Heath Bowers did not record an out. Highberger tossed the final two innings, allowing just one run on one hit while walking and striking out three in route to earning his fourth save of the year.
With the split of the doubleheader, the Snappers lead in the Western Division second half Wild Card standings sits at a two game lead over the Kane County Cougars.
The Snappers now return home for a six-game homestand, jumpstarted by postgame fireworks Saturday night presented by Welder's Supply. Beloit will welcome the Burlington Bees in for a three-game series before hosting the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Single-game tickets start as low as $6.50 in advance, and fans are encouraged to purchase 15-game packs to save money for multiple-game use this season. All ticket packages of 15 games or more guarantee fans all of the 2018 promotional giveaways including our three bobblehead giveaways!
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.