Early Lead Erased by 7-run Fifth
DAYTON, OH - An early lead for the Clinton LumberKings was erased in a seven-run fifth inning that propelled the Dayton Dragons to a 9-5 win on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field. Will Banfield drove in the three runs for the night to bring his series total to six but it was not enough to prevent a series loss for the LumberKings (16-15).
Clinton broke out early against Dragons (12-20) starter Ricky Salinas. Banfield drove home the first two runs of his night with an opposite field single to left that came with the bases loaded.
An inning later, Connor Scott chased home Ricardo Cespedes with RBI single that inflated the early Clinton lead to 3-0.
LumberKings starter Tanner Andrews started off sharp through his first two innings but surrendered his first runs of the night in the bottom of the third. After two leadoff singles and a productive out put runners at second and third - Andrews (0-1) struck out Jonathan Willmes but did not record an out as the pitch went to the backstop for a run scoring wild pitch that led to two runs.
Clinton held onto their one-run lead until the Dragons exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. 10 men came up in the inning for Dayton as they scored their seven runs in the inning on just four hits. Bren Spillane capped the scoring with a three-run homer to left - his second of the series.
Salinas (1-0) earned the win for the Dragons with a five-inning outing. He allowed just the three early runs and rebounded to strikeout 10 and walk just two.
The LumberKings inched closer with single runs in the seventh and ninth innings but failed to overcome the second largest rally allowed by their pitching staff for the season.
The LumberKings will now head south to meet the Bowling Green Hot Rods for the first game of a three-game series on Thursday night. Clinton will throw right-handed pitcher Chris Vallimont (1-2, 2.78) while the Hot Rods are yet to name a starting pitcher. 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 6:20 p.m. (CDT) with the pregame show.
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