Clinton, IA - Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen was back to his old self and early offense ensured Clinton would never trail as the LumberKings chased Peoria with a 10-5 win at Alliant Energy Field. Wilhelmsen allowed two unearned runs over six innings and Vinnie Catricala drove home three RBI on 3-for-4 hitting to lead the way to the series win.
Wilhelmsen (W, 4-1) yielded a two-run single to Nelson Perez in the fourth, but both runs would be unearned as a result of Luis Nunez's error in left on a dropped fly ball that put runners at second and third. The 26-year-old right-hander would not get in trouble again until the seventh, when he hit two batters and walked another to load the bases with no outs.
With the lead just four runs, right-hander Stephen Pryor came on looking for a near-miracle to keep the Kings ahead. He'd get out of the jam, striking out Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins before inducing an inning-ending fly ball to center from Logan Watkins.
The LumberKings held the lead from the first-inning on as Catricala started another huge game with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring James Jones. Jones had reached on a fielding error by Peoria first-baseman Justin Bour to start the game.
Catricala singled home Nick Franklin in the third inning, and a passed ball would score Mickey Wiswall for the 3-0 lead. Tim Morris ended an 0-for-14 drought with a double off the wall in right-center, and Catricala would have been out trying to score if not for a dropped ball at the plate by catcher Luis Flores. That error let Catricala score, increasing the advantage to 4-0.
Ryan Royster doubled and scored on a Jones sacrifice fly in the fourth and tripled and scored on a wild pitch by right-hander Ronny Morla in the sixth, giving Clinton a 6-2 lead.
Pryor's magic in the top of the seventh sparked the offense in the bottom of the inning. Wiswall greeted Morla with a towering drive down the right-field line for a solo homer - his fourth with Clinton - and then watched as Catricala went back-to-back with a blast to deep left. Three batters later, Matt Cerione would lift an opposite-field clout over the wood wall in left-center to raise the lead to 10-2.
Matt Cerda hit a three-run homer off right-hander Nolan Gallagher in the ninth, but Gallagher recovered to turn a 1-6-3 double play to end the game.
Peoria right-hander Brett Wallach (L, 6-2) gave up five runs, three earned on six hits over 5.0 innings. Morla was hit hardest with five runs, four earned over 1.1 innings. Right-hander Daniel Keefe worked 1.2 scoreless frames.
Catricala's 3-for-4 effort included his second home run in as many days (his 16th of the year), increased his team RBI lead to 72 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Wiswall added a 3-for-5 game with a double and a home run, extending his hitting streak to eight games.
Cerda went 2-for-5 with three RBI and Perez went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the losing cause for the Chiefs.
The LumberKings (31-24) open a four-game, three-day series with the Quad Cities River Bandits (35-20) tomorrow night at 6:30 PM. Right-hander Taylor Stanton (10-6, 4.39) makes his 22nd start of the year. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.