CLINTON, IA - The Clinton LumberKings won their sixth straight game and they beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to do it. A two-out RBI single by Chris Taylor in the bottom of the ninth inning snapped a 2-2 and sent the L-Kings to a 3-2 win at Ashford University Field on Saturday night. The loss was the first of the season for the Rattlers at Clinton. They had won the first six games played between the teams on Clinton's home field.
Chadwin Stang extended his hitting streak to twelve games with a double to start the Wisconsin third inning. Brandon Macias drove in Stang with a single for the 1-0 Wisconsin lead. The RBI for Macias was his 50th of the season.
The LumberKings (44-58 overall, 21-13 second half) had runners at the corners with no outs in the bottom of the third and tried a safety squeeze. But, Timber Rattlers starting pitcher Eric Semmelhack pounced off the mound, fielded the bunt, and threw out the runner at the plate.
Wisconsin (60-43, 16-18) had a great opportunity to pad the lead in the top of the fifth against reliever John Taylor. They had runners at second and third with no outs. A grounder back to the mound turned into an out at first and held the runners at their bases. Greg Hopkins was at the plate when catcher Mike Dowd fired to third after a pitch to pick off the runner for the second out. Taylor would pick of the runner at second for the third out without throwing another pitch in the inning.
Semmelhack worked five shutout innings, walked one, and struck out one. He was not involved in the decision.
Reliever Maverick Lasker entered the game for the sixth inning and had two outs with runners at first and second. Mike Dowd blooped a double to center that dropped between three Rattlers players and both LumberKings runners scored on the play to put Clinton up 2-1.
The Rattlers rallied back in the top of the seventh. Yadiel Rivera drew a leadoff walk. Rafael Neda dropped a sacrifice bunt and the throw to first was wild. Rivera went to third and Neda wound up at second with no outs.
Carlos George tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center to get Rivera home. But, the Rattlers couldn't get Neda home and the game stayed tied 2-2.
The LumberKings had runners at first and second with no outs after Lasker walked the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth. But, Lasker got the next batter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. He would walk Dowd, who was 3-for-3 with three doubles at that point in the game, intentionally. Mark Williams came on to get the final out of the inning.
Williams walked Anthony Phillips to start the bottom of the ninth. A sacrifice bunt moved the winning run to second. Williams got the second out on a strikeout. Then, Taylor cracked a 1-0 pitch to left and Phillips beat the throw home to score the winning run.
Game two of the series in Clinton is July 29. Jacob Barnes (3-3, 2.92) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Clinton counters with Trevor Miller (6-6, 3.23). Game time is 2:00pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.
WP: David Colvin (4-2)
LP: Mark Williams (3-9)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.