Clinton, IA - For the 13th time in 2014, the Clinton LumberKings went to extra innings. For the 10th time in those 13 games, they came up on the short end of the result, as the hometown LumberKings (2-4, 32-42) fell to the visiting Quad Cities River Bandits (3-2, 38-36) 4-3 in 12 innings Wednesday night at Ashford University Field.
The LumberKings got off to a hot start, as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning against Jandel Gustave on a Zach Shank RBI single. Clinton upped the lead to 3-0 on Shank's two-RBI double in the fourth. Jose Flores pitched well again in a starting role for Clinton, but gave up a two-run HR to Chase McDonald (4) in the sixth, and saw his bullpen blow the save in the eighth. The right-handed starter struck out a season high six over 5.1 innings as he gave up only two runs. It was the seventh time in 10 starts that Flores allowed no more than two runs in a start. Neither starter factored in the decision.
Seon Gi Kim relieved Flores in the sixth inning and recorded the final two outs in the frame. Kim set down the River Bandits in order in the seventh, but surrendered an RBI double to Brett Booth in the eighth. On the Booth double, Ronnie Mitchell was thrown out at the plate in an attempt to score and put Quad Cities ahead, but Chantz Mack picked up his third assist of the season and nabbed him at the plate to keep the game tied at three.
Both sides threatened in the ninth, as River Bandits left fielder Jon Kemmer got picked off of second base with one out in the frame, and the LumberKings left men on first and second in the bottom of the inning. Quad Cities then left the potential go-ahead run on second in the 10th, as Paul Fry (1-2), who came on with two outs in the eighth, struck out James Ramsay and Mitchell to end the inning.
Fry worked four scoreless frames before he allowed a two-out double to Marc Wik in the 12th. Nick Valenza relieved him from the pen, and after a Valenza wild pitch moved Wik to third, Brett Phillips brought him home with a sharp single to right field, the eventual game winning hit. The LumberKings got the leadoff man aboard in the bottom of the inning, as Jack Reinheimer was hit with a Frederick Tiburcio (1-1) pitch. Reinheimer moved to second base on Chantz Mack's groundout, but Corey Simpson and Justin Seager struck out to end the ballgame, as Tiburcio finished off his fourth scoreless inning.
The LumberKings went just three for 14 with runners in scoring position, as they fell for the second consecutive night at home and sit a league worst 13-22 at their home ballpark. LumberKings pitching struck out 15, a season high, as Flores recorded six, Kim two, and Fry seven. Corey Simpson struck out five times, the first time in 2014 a LumberKings hitter has struck out more than four times. 12 innings matched a season high for Clinton, set in the 20-17 come from behind victory vs. Burlington on 5/7.
The series finale is set for Thursday night in Clinton as River Bandits starter Michael Feliz (3-1, 2.68) will pitch for the sweep, while LumberKings starting pitcher Lars Huijer (3-5, 4.39) looks to build off of his complete game victory in his last start. First pitch is set for 6:30 at Ashford University Field. The LumberKings broadcast can be heard on 100.3 FM WCCI, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.