Burlington, IA - It didn't take long for the LumberKings to jump out to an early lead thanks to a huge first inning on Saturday night at Community Field. After a walk to Ketel Marte to start the game, Dario Pizzano blasted the first LumberKings' home run of the year to deep right field. The fireworks were just getting started as Guillermo Pimentel followed with a solo home run of his own. On the very next pitch, Patrick Kivlehan hit another homer out to left field, making it back-to-back-to-back home runs for Clinton.
After a double by Jabari Henry and a sacrifice fly from Gaby Guerrero, Clinton led 5-0. Catcher Tyler Marlette got in on that action when he hit the fourth home run of the inning, a solo shot off the light tower in left-center field to make it 6-0.
Burlington started chipping into the LumberKings' lead in the second inning when Brennan Gowens led off the second with a walk, and then stole second base. Third baseman Kevin Moesquit reached on a dropped third strike, bringing up catcher Sandy Martinez with runners on first and third. Martinez plated the first Burlington run of the evening with a sacrifice fly. The next batter, Pedro Toribio, lined an RBI triple into right-center to but the lead to 6-2.
The Bees would not go quietly as Chevy Clarke made it 7-5 in the third with an RBI single that chase LumberKings' starter Matt Anderson.
Clinton pushed their lead back to four runs when Marlette came through with another two-out, run-scoring base hit. With a base hit up the middle, he delivered two runs to extend the lead to 9-5.
The LumberKings scored another run in the top of the 6th, but it was split by a 35-minute weather delay. After Marte reached on an error by Soto, play was suspended during Dario Pizzano's at-bat due to lightning. Once the storm cleared and play resumed, Marte scored on an RBI single by Kivlehan.
Clinton's bats were not done there. Pizzano launched his second home run of the game in the eighth inning, this one a solo blast.
The LumberKings' bullpen put on another impressive performance in the win. Oliver Garcia, Blake Hauser and Grady Wood combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings to silence any Bees' comeback bids. Garcia picked up the win in relief of Anderson, improving to 1-0 on the season. Burlington starter Arjenis Fernandez took the loss.
The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with game four between the LumberKings and Bees. Clinton sends left-hander Tyler Pike to the hill and Burlington counters with right-hander Alex Keudell. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.