Clinton, IA (August 17, 2018) - The Clinton LumberKings split their doubleheader with the Beloit Snappers on Friday night at Ashford University Field, taking game one 8-5, and falling in game two 6-5. Four home runs by the LumberKings (25-29, 64-60) in game one topped the Snappers (30-23, 62-60) while a Dimas Ojeda grand slam in game two was not enough.
The LumberKings took game one behind a barrage of home runs against Snappers pitching. Johnny Adams, Keegan McGovern, Ariel Sandoval, and Joseph Rosa each homered in an 8-5 Clinton win.
For much of the game the LumberKings trailed. Mickey McDonald homered off Clinton starter Clay Chandler in the top of the second to stake the Snappers to a 2-0 lead.
Adams answered the two-run clout with a two-run homer of his own in the bottom of the second off Beloit starter Ivan Andueza. The home run was his 11th of the year and briefly tied the game at two.
Beloit quickly reclaimed their lead with another home run in the fourth inning. Ryan Gridley collected his second round tripper of the year with a home run to left off Chandler (8-3). The Snappers then added to their lead with a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Logan Farrar.
The LumberKings broke out for a five-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Following walks to Zach Scott and Joseph Rosa, Keegan McGovern launched his 11th home run of the year over the wall in left center to turn a two-run deficit into a one run lead. The home run ended the night for Andueza (3-9) who was given the loss for his 4.1 innings of work.
The scoring did not end with Andueza's departure as Ariel Sandoval slugged his 17th home run of the year to stretch the lead to 7-5.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the LumberKings capped the scoring for the game with Joseph Rosa's fourth home run of the season.
Randy Bell earned his first save of the season for Clinton with two shutout innings of relief in the sixth and seventh innings.
In game two the LumberKings mustered just one hit against a collection of four Beloit Pitchers and fell 6-5. Ojeda's sixth inning grand slam was the only hit of the night for Clinton in game two as the Snappers rode early offense to a doubleheader split and series win.
The scoring started in the top of the second inning against LumberKings starter Ray Kerr. Miguel Mercedes lined a one-out double to left center field to initiate a four-run rally in which Beloit sent eight men to the plate.
The Snappers added two more runs in the following inning when Mercedes slugged his fourth home run of the season off the top of the scoreboard in left center field for a two-run home run and 6-0 Beloit lead.
Kerr (4-11) did not make it through the third and was hung with the loss for his 2.1 innings of work. He allowed six runs, three earned, on four hits while walking two and striking out one.
The advantage held up for Beloit with strong pitching from starter Gus Varland and reliever Ty Damron. Varland struck out nine over his 3.2 innings of work while Damron (4-2) earned the win for 1.1 innings of relief work in which he struck out three. Beloit pitching combined to strikeout 15 in game two of the doubleheader.
Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the LumberKings rallied against poor pitching by the Snappers. Six walks were issued in the inning with four-straight to open the frame. The LumberKings scored their first run before recording their first hit. Dimas Ojeda followed the four straight walks with a grand slam to right that made it a one run game and went for his eighth home run of the season.
Nick Highberger allowed the grand slam to Ojeda but stayed in to work the final two innings and earn the save, his fourth of the year.
The LumberKings will now hit the road for the final multi-series road trip of the year with the opener of a three-game series with the Kane County Cougars starting on Saturday night. Clinton will throw righty Scott Boches (2-5, 3.30) while the Cougars will counter with lefty Lane Ratliff (5-1, 2.85). First pitch in game one is slated for 6:30 PM. Fans looking to listen to the game can hear Erik Oas on the call on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at lumberkings.com via the tunein radio ap at 6:15 PM with the pregame show.
About the LumberKings
The LumberKings, the only remaining Charter Member of the Midwest League, are in their 63rd season in the league and their 10th as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Since the club's inception in 1937, 280 former Clinton players have made it to the Major Leagues. The LumberKings play at historic Ashford University Field located off 6th Avenue North at 537 Ballpark Drive. Advertising and tickets for the 2018 season are available by calling (563) 242-0727 or by visiting lumberkings.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.