CLINTON, IA (July 15, 2017) - Gareth Morgan slugged his second home run in the last three games as the Clinton LumberKings held off a late Bowling Green Hot Rods charge for a 7-6 win on Saturday night at Ashford University Field. Despite being out, 10-9, and committing all of the game's three errors Clinton (9-14, 40-50) held on for their second straight win.
The LumberKings scored the game's first runs in the bottom of the second inning. After a scoreless first, Morgan slugged the LumberKings onto the board with a two-run home run off Hot Rods starter Chris Pike, that was his team leading ninth of the season.
The early lead did not hold up Clinton who allowed the Hot Rods (14-9, 45-45) to rally for three runs in the top of the third inning. LumberKings starter Brandon Miller allowed the first three batters to reach, loading the bases, and allowed a bases clearing three-run double to Josh Lowe that gave Bowling Green their only lead of the night.
In the bottom of the third inning, the LumberKings took the lead for good. Luis Rengifo doubled off Pike (2-3) with one out and was followed by a Yojhan Quevedo single and Ryan Scott RBI double, that tied the game. The rally continued with a Morgan sacrifice fly to center, his third RBI of the game, and was capped with a Nick Zammarelli RBI double to right center field.
Miller (9-4) then settled down for Clinton holding the Hot Rods to four runs, three earned, over his six innings of work. He struck out five and walked just one to earn his team leading ninth win of the season.
Clinton added single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to build a 7-4 lead headed into the ninth.
Tim Viehoff relieved Miller to work the seventh and eighth innings before being removed with one out in the ninth with runners at first and second. The Hot Rods pushed the LumberKings by getting the tying run to the plate following a Gareth Whitley single off Michael Koval, that loaded the bases. Two batters later Jonah Heim singled home two runs to pull Bowling Green to within one and put the tying run at third with two men out. On the very next pitch Koval induced a ground ball to third that ended the game and gave the LumberKings the win and Kovals second save of the season.
The win marks just the second time during the second half that Clinton has won consecutive games is just the second win for the LumberKings at home against Bowling Green in franchise history.
The LumberKings continue their three-game series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Sunday afternoon. Left-handed pitcher Nick Wells (3-6, 6.35) will take the ball for Clinton and face Bowling Green's right-handed pitcher Adrian Navas (6-8, 6.51). First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM (CDT) with the pregame show beginning at 1:45 PM (CDT) on 100.3 FM WCCI Erik Oas is on the call. Sunday will be Sterling/Rock Falls/ and Carroll County day at Ashford University Field with special ticket offers to residents. Fans should arrive early for a the sixth installment of the baseball card strip giveaway courtesy of Clinton National Bank and Mediacom.
About the LumberKings
The LumberKings, the only remaining Charter Member of the Midwest League, are playing their 62nd season in the league and their ninth as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Since the club's inception in 1937, 270 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. Tickets to all 70 home games 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.