Franklin Homers Twice, Falls Just Short of Cycle
Clinton, IA - Shortstop Nick Franklin homered twice and fell a single short of the cycle, leading the Clinton LumberKings to an impressive 8-2 victory over the Peoria Chiefs Saturday night at Alliant Energy Field. Seattle's first-round pick in 2009 tripled and scored in his first at-bat, doubled and scored his second time around and then homered from the left and right sides in his final two at-bats to finish 4-for-4.
Franklin would have been the first Clinton player to hit for the cycle since Josh Spoerl did it against Kane County on July 19, 2000, however, his final at-bat produced an opposite-field clout just over the wood wall in right.
The first blast by Franklin came back-to-back with Daniel Carroll, who himself lifted his second two-run homer in as many nights to push the Kings' lead to 5-2.
Vinnie Catricala also chipped in two RBI, finishing 1-for-4. Mario Martinez added an RBI single and James Jones registered his first hit with Clinton, an RBI triple scoring Dennis Raben in the seventh.
The big story heading into the game was the professional debut of Mariners' fifth-round pick, right-hander Tyler Blandford. The Oklahoma State product stifled the Chiefs to just a hit over 4.1 innings, but also issued five walks. Blandford exited after allowing two runs, both earned.
Right-hander John Housey (W, 1-0) worked the next 3.2 innings, keeping Peoria off the scoreboard despite three more walks. Left-hander Jose Jimenez pitched a scoreless non-save ninth.
Peoria right-hander Jonathan Nagel (L, 0-1) gave up three of the Clinton runs on six hits over 3.0 innings. Right-hander Tim Clubb surrendered the Carroll and Franklin back-to-back blasts and lefty Jeff Beliveau gave up the second Franklin homer. Righty Andres Quezada did not allow a run over the final 1.2 innings.
The LumberKings (2-1) begin their first road trip of the season at Time Warner Cable Field in Wisconsin tomorrow night against the Timber Rattlers. Left-hander Jon Hesketh (0-0, 0.00) is slated to make his first start of the year beginning at 5:05 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN or www.lumberkings.com.
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