Peoria, IL - With neither team getting on the scoreboard through the first six innings, the LumberKings (47-33, 8-2) took their best opportunity to score and ran with it, plating two runs in the seventh inning and holding the Chiefs (44-36, 4-6) scoreless the rest of the way. Clinton beat Peoria 2-0, recording their 10th shutout of the season while evening the series at a game apiece.
Chiefs starter Sandy Alcantara (5-6) held the LumberKings to just one hit through the first six inning, and with one out in the seventh he issued a one out walk to Conner Hale. At 97 pitches, Alcantara was pulled for Gerwuins Velasco. Logan Taylor immediately put a shock into Velasco and poked a ball down the right field line for a double, moving Hale to third. The infield was brought in for Rafael Fernandez, who skied a ball to left, bringing home Hale to break the scoreless tie. Arturo Nieto stepped in next, smashing a ball under the glove of first baseman RJ Dennard and into right field, as the error scored Taylor to make it 2-0.
However, the first six innings didn't come without adversity. In the fifth, Lukas Schiraldi, (4-3) who was on in relief of starter Ronald Dominguez, issued a four pitch walk to Vaughn Bryan to start the inning. With a hit and run put on, Dylan Becker scorched one past the glove of Conner Hale at first, moving Bryan to third. Yet Schiraldi got Craig Aikin, Magneuris Sierra, and Edmundo Sosa to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Schiraldi walked the tightrope again in the sixth inning as he issued a leadoff walk to Brian O'Keefe. After Chris Chinea struck out, Schiraldi walked RJ Dennard, but made a big pitch to Leobaldo Pina, who hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Spencer Herrmann entered for the seventh, and went through his first two innings with relative ease. In the ninth with one out, he hit Dylan Becker, and then gave up a single to right from pinch hitter Bladimil Franco, putting the tying run at first. Herrmann then fought back to punch out Magneuris Sierra, but was then pulled to set up a righty-righty matchup between Joey Strain and Edmundo Sosa. Strain got the job done, forcing Sosa to fly out the center to end the ballgame, earning his fifth save in the process.
LumberKings starter Ronald Dominguez, making his first start of his career, was brilliant, going the first four, allowing just three hits, walking one and striking out three. The rubber game of the series begins at 2 PM tomorrow, with the Iowa Pork Producers Pregame Show hitting the airwaves of WCCI 100.3 FM at 1:45, with the online broadcast available at www.lumberkings.com. Nick Neidert (5-1, 2.21) goes for Clinton, squaring up with Peoria's Juan Perez (3-1, 2.65).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.