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Kings Claim Final Home Game

August 26, 2008 - Midwest League (MWL) - Clinton LumberKings News Release

Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings closed up their 2008 home schedule in the best way possible, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit to defeat Peoria 5-2 Tuesday night in front of 5,295 fans on "Back to College Night."

Fresh off a nomination to the Midwest League Post-Season All-Star Team, first-baseman Mitch Moreland celebrated with a double to lead off the fourth inning against Chiefs' starter Robert Hernandez. Justin Smoak then cleared the left-center fence with an opposite-field home run - his second of the season - to tie the game at 2-2.

Miguel Alfonzo kept the inning going, sending a chopper to center. Carlos Dominguez then lined a single into left, and Andres James reached on a throwing error to second by Hernandez to load the bases. Engel Beltre bounced to the right side, reaching on a fielder's choice to plate Alfonzo for a 3-2 lead.

Clinton struck again in the fifth. Tim Smith coaxed a leadoff walk and scored on another double to nearly the same spot in right-center by Moreland. That hit chased Hernandez (L, 1-4) from the game. The right-hander served up five total runs, four earned as reliever Jake Muyco added to his line by giving up an infield single to Alfonzo, plating Moreland.

Kings' starter Ryan Tatusko was touched up for two runs in the first on a double by Rebel Ridling, but settled in for a strong outing. Tatusko (W, 3-10) won for the first time since July 13 vs. Quad Cities, scattering six hits over 5.0 innings, walking one while striking out five.

The bullpen took over from there. Fabio Castillo (H, 4) allowed a hit and two walks over 2.0 scoreless innings, and Adalberto Flores (H, 1) added a scoreless eighth inning.

Right-hander Mark Hamburger, recently acquired by the Texas Rangers from the Minnesota Twins came on for the ninth. The Appalachian League's "Closer of the Year" while with rookie Elizabethton, Hamburger (S, 1) worked through a pair of walks and a base hit to pitch a scoreless ninth, earning the save in his Clinton debut.

Alfonzo kept his bat red-hot for the LumberKings, finishing 3-for-4 on the night with a run scored and an RBI. Moreland went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and his league-leading 95th RBI. Smoak's second home run gave him his first professional multi-RBI game (two RBI).

Nate Samson, Rosa and Ridling all had two hits apiece for the Chiefs, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a loss the night prior.

While the home schedule ends for the playoff-bound LumberKings (33-31), the series with Peoria (28-36) does not. The two teams head to O'Brien Field in Peoria for the final two games. First pitch Wednesday night will be at 6:30 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1340 KROS in Clinton or live on the web at

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