LumberKings Blow Late Lead, Fall to Kane County 6-5June 23, 2012 - Midwest League (MWL) Clinton LumberKings
Clinton starter Ambioris Hidalgo and Kane County starter Bryan Brickhouse were both cruising through the first three innings as the game was scoreless heading to the fourth. The Cougars got on the board first in the fourth on an RBI single by Alex Llanos that scored Jack Lopez. Clinton catcher Steve Baron knotted things up with a run-scoring groundout in the bottom half of the inning.
In the fifth inning, Clinton opened up a 4-1 lead with RBI singles from Guillermo Pimentel, Anthony Phillips and Jamal Austin. They chased Brickhouse from the game after he failed to record an out in the fifth inning.
Kane County did not go away easily as they got two runs in the sixth inning to cut the lead to 4-3 as Ambioris Hidalgo ran out of gas after three batters in the inning.
Tim Griffin, who came on in relief of Hidalgo, was still in when Kane County wrapped consecutive singles to start the eighth inning. With David Colvin on the mound for Clinton, Jorge Bonifacio laid down a successful sacrifice moving Jack Lopez to third and Daniel Mateo to second with one out. Third baseman Michael Antonio then lifted a fly ball to right field, deep enough to score Lopez with the tying run to make it a 4-4 game.
The LumberKings came right back and regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Nate Melendres led off the inning with a walk against Kane County reliever Malcolm Culver. Baron sacrificed Melendres to second for the first out in the inning. After a Ramon Morla ground out for the second out, Melendres stole third and came home after catcher Kenny Swab's throw sailed into left field.
Stephen Shackleford came on to close the ninth but it was not to be. With two outs and pinch-runner Tim Ferguson on second and Swab on first, Lopez doubled to the gap in right-center to deliver the tying run. After Clinton went quietly in the ninth, Kane County came through in the tenth. Llanos reached on an error and went to third on a single by Julio Aparicio. John Taylor promptly picked off Aparicio for the second out in the inning. Dean Espy hit a chopper over the mound but Dan Paolini's throw was late to first as Llanos scored the go-ahead run. Clinton again went quietly in the tenth as Rudy Brown earned the win in relief for the Cougars.
The two teams will play the rubber match of the three game series on Sunday afternoon at Ashford University Field. Left-hander Jeremy Dobbs (1-2, 6.83) starts for Clinton and Kane County counters with right-hander Kyle Smith (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.
Midwest League Stories from June 23, 2012
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