Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings lost another heartbreaker to continue their losing skid, this one on a walk-off single in the 12th inning for 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Peoria Chiefs. The LumberKings put on a power display with four home runs, but it wasn't enough as another late lead slipped away, eventually falling in extra innings.
Clinton took an early lead with the power bats in full swing on Wednesday night. Taylor Ard hit a solo blast in the second, and Dario Pizzano launched a two-run shot in the third inning. Both Ard and Pizzano have hit eight home runs with Clinton this season.
Alfredo Morales and Gaby Guerrero got in on the party with two more solo home runs for the LumberKings. Clinton used the long ball to take a 6-3 lead after six innings.
Each team missed opportunities to capitalize in the middle innings. Peoria scored three runs in the fourth inning off Victor Sanchez, but Ildemaro Vargas was thrown out at home trying to score the tying run. Clinton had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth inning and managed to plate just one run.
Peoria clawed their way back into the game against the LumberKings' bullpen. Blake Holovach surrendered two runs in the seventh inning on two-run double by Trevor Martin. Jochi Ogando allowed the tying run to come across in the eighth on a RBI double from Nick Martini. All three of those runs came with two outs in each frame.
The deadlock persisted into extra innings until finally Peoria broke through. C.J. McElroy led off the twelfth inning with a single. After a wild pitch and a groundout, the Chiefs advanced the winning run to third base. George Mieses intentionally walked Bruce Caldwell to set up a double play opportunity, but Jeremy Schaffer delivered the game winner for Peoria. Schaffer bounced an infield single over the head of Mieses, and McElroy scampered home to give Peoria the 7-6 victory.
Despite the loss, Clinton remains one game ahead of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the Western Division Wild Card playoff berth. The Timber Rattlers lost 4-2 to Quad Cities. Peoria sits two games back of Clinton in the playoff race.
The LumberKings and Chiefs continue their vital three-game series with game two on Thursday night. Clinton has yet to announce a probable starter, while Peoria turns to right-hander Mike Mayers (0-2, 3.05). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM CT at Dozer Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.