Clinton Sweeps Doubleheader to Climb Over .500
BELOIT, WI - A complete game by Humberto Mejia in game one and 2-1 win in game two gave the Clinton LumberKings a doubleheader sweep over the Beloit Snappers at Harry Pohlman Field for the first time since August 4th, 1983. Mejia threw eight innings in a 6-1 game one win and then watched as the LumberKings (22-21) held off the Snappers (15-27) in game two.
A pitcher's duel was much of story for the first seven innings in the LumberKings game one win over Beloit. Snappers starter Reid Birlingmair matched Clinton starter Humberto Mejia with shutout baseball for his six innings of work.
Mejia (4-0) outlasted Birlingmair and flirted with a no-hitter for much of his start. He did not allow a hit until the bottom of the seventh and turned in a complete game eight-inning performance to earn his fourth win of the year.
Mejia's complete game was the first eight inning start by a LumberKings starter and the first complete game win since 2017 when Robert Dugger went the distance in a rain shorted six inning contest.
All of Clinton's runs game across in the top of the eighth when they broke out for six. Marcos Rivera singled up the middle to score the free base runner at second (part of Minor League Baseball's extra inning rules) and the flood gates opened from there. Will Banfield struck the decisive blow with a two-run single into center field and Demetrius Sims capped the rally with a two-run single to center.
Beloit scored their free base runner in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Skyler Webber - the only run allowed by Mejia in the game. Max Schuemann flew out to left following the run scoring single to end the game.
The LumberKings jumped out early on Snappers starter Michael Murray - scoring in the first inning. Connor Scott opened the inning with a double down the line in left, moved to third on a Demetrius Sims single, and then scored on a Sean Reynolds RBI fielder's choice.
The one run held up against Beloit for much of the game with Tyler Jones and Sean Guenther combining to throw six shutout innings. Guenther (2-2) earned the win for 3.2 innings of work in which he allowed just two hits, no walks, and struck out six.
Murray (0-2) was hung with the loss for Beloit but did not allow another LumberKing to score over his four innings out. He struck out eight and allowed only two hits while walking none.
Snappers pitching at one point struck out seven straight batters and ended the night with 14 strikeouts as a team.
Clinton added an insurance run in the top of the sixth that would prove to be the decisive run. Ricardo Cespedes tripled to open the inning and scored on a Connor Scott RBI single to center.
In the bottom of the seventh, Cam Baird came on to close the door and earned his first save of the year. After retiring the first two batters he faced, three straight batters reached with a passed ball and wild pitch combing to bring home a run and put the tying run at third. After Joseph Pena reached on a walk to put the potential winning run aboard, Baird struck out Devin Foyle to end the game and preserve the win.
The LumberKings will meet the Beloit Snappers for game three of their five-game series on Tuesday morning. Clinton will throw right-handed pitcher Chris Vallimont (2-3, 3.11). Beloit will tap righty Bryce Nightengale (1-1, 4.24). Fans looking to listen to the game can hear Erik Oas on the call at 100.3 FM WCCI and online at lumberkings.com via the tunein radio ap at 10:45 a.m. (CDT) with the pregame show.
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