GRAND CHUTE, WI - Three Clinton LumberKing pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 10-0 on Thursday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Eddie Campbell struck out eight over six innings to get the win. Tyler O'Neill hit a grand slam in the sixth inning for the LumberKings, who took two of the three games played in the series with the Rattlers.
Clinton (53-67 overall, 23-29 second half) took the lead in the top of the third inning. O'Neill started the inning with a double. Justin Seager reached on an error that allowed O'Neill to score. Later in the inning, Jeff Zimmerman hit a two-run home run to the beach in right field for a 3-0 Clinton advantage.
Wisconsin (65-56, 29-23) put two runners on base in the third, fourth, and fifth innings against Campbell, but could not score.
Rattlers reliever Victor Diaz took over for starting pitcher Javier Salas to start the sixth inning and had runners on second and third with two outs. Diaz walked Aaron Barbosa to load the bases. Then, he issued back-to-back walks to Brett Thomas and Marcus Littlewood to force in two runs and Clinton was up 5-0.
O'Neill was next and he drilled a 1-0 pitch from Diaz off the scoreboard in left-center for a grand slam and a 9-0 advantage.
Clinton added another run in the sixth inning. Zimmerman tripled off the fence in left-center against reliever Harvey Martin. Nelson Ward singled to right to get Zimmerman home for the 10-0 lead.
Campbell, Tyler Herb, and Paul Fry combined for 14 strikeouts in the game. Thursday night was the fifth time Wisconsin has been shutout this season.
Paul Eshleman accounted for half of Wisconsin's six hits in the game. The Rattlers catcher went 3-for-3 with a double. Clint Coulter had two hits for the Rattlers. Taylor Brennan had a single in the fifth inning.
The loss hurt the Timber Rattlers in the race for the second half division lead as Cedar Rapids won 10-3 at Beloit. Wisconsin trails the Kernels by two games with eighteen games left in the season. But, Wisconsin maintained their lead in the second half wild card race at two games over Peoria, who lost 4-2 at Burlington, and at three games over Quad Cities, who lost 4-1 at Kane County.
Speaking of Kane County, the Timber Rattlers will start a three game series with the Kane County Cougars, the Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and - at 77-45 - the team with the best record in the league this season, on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Barrett Astin (7-6, 5.06) is the scheduled starting pitcher for Wisconsin. Jonathan Martinez (8-5, 3.46) is the scheduled starter for Kane County. Game time is 7:05pm.
Help mascot Fang T. Rattler celebrate his birthday on Friday night! Dozens of area mascots will be on hand for a pregame kickball game. Participate in "Cans for Cake" by bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to St. Joe's Food Program and you will receive a slice of birthday cake.
Friday is also North Shore Bank Family Night and all children 12 and under receive a free hot dog and soda. There will be a postgame fireworks display. Then, kids 14 and under may participate in Kids Run the Bases thanks to Molina Healthcare after the fireworks. Plus, Potawatomi Bingo Casino presents Baseball Bingo, a chance to win prizes by playing a baseball-themed bingo game.
If you can't make it out to the ballpark, there are several ways to catch the action. MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown will televise the game starting at 7:00pm. The radio broadcast will be on AM1280, WNAM or IHeartRadio beginning with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:45pm. The game will also be available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Jeff Zimmerman (6th, 1 on in 4th inning off Javier Salas, 1 out)
Tyler O'Neill (11th, grand slam in 6th inning off Victor Diaz, 2 out)
WP: Eddie Campbell (9-8)
LP: Javier Salas (0-1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.