Two More for Paolini in 6-3 Win
Clinton, IA - With the second-half Western Division title in the books, this years Clinton baseball team is now chasing down history. The LumberKings beat the Burlington Bees, 6-3, on Wednesday night to notch win number 42 in the half.
44 wins is the franchise record for wins in a half, set by the 1963 Clinton C-Sox in the first half and then tied by the 1993 Clinton Giants in the second half. The '63 C-Sox went on to win the league championship that season, one of four in the 76-year history of professional baseball in Clinton.
Leading the charge once again was Dan Paolini who went deep twice for his 17th and 18th homers of the season. The infielder has 11 home runs and 33 RBIs in the month of August and has led Clinton to being on the verge of .500 overall for the first time this year. After five games in the second-half, the LumberKings had an overall mark of 24-49. After Wednesday's win, they sit at 66-67 with five to play in the regular season.
Jharmidy De Jesus got the scoring started for the LumberKings with an RBI double, scoring Jabari Blash to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning. Paolini hit his first homer of the night on a hanging breaking ball from A.J. Cole over the left field wall for a solo shot in the third to cut the lead to 3-2.
It stayed that way as LumberKings starter Rusty Shellhorn settled in after a rough first two innings. The left-hander retired the final 13 batters he faced and struck out a career-high nine on the way to his second victory in three starts with Clinton.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jamal Austin led off with a base hit up the middle off Burlington reliever Chas Mye. The southpaw then tried to sneak a fastball by Paolini who tomahawked it off the facing off the Coors Light Pavilion for a two-run blast and a 4-3 lead.
Ji-Man Choi added a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Clinton some breathing room. The bullpen duo of Mario De Jesus and Stephen Shackleford shut down the Bees over the final three innings to close it out. Shackleford notched his 11th save of the season. Dating back to August 24, the LumberKings bullpen has not allowed a run in 18 2/3 innings.
The Bees and LumberKings play game two of the three-game set on Thursday night. Right-hander Jordan Pries (4-0, 3.86) starts for Clinton and right-hander Tanner Peters (2-5, 3.06) gets the ball for Burlington. It's "Back to College Night" at Ashford University Field as first pitch is set for 6:30.
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Midwest League Stories from August 29, 2012
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