CLINTON — He might not have been picked for the All-Star Game, but Austin Wilson continued to play like an All-Star on Friday as the Clinton LumberKings opened the second half of the Midwest League baseball season.
Wilson gave Clinton a 1-0 lead with a solo home run, and he added two more runs batted in later in the game as the LumberKings defeated Beloit 7-1 in the first game of a doubleheader at Pohlman Field.
Clinton pitcher Seon Gi Kim limited Beloit to one hit and one run over five innings in the second game, but the bullpen was touched for four runs in the sixth as the Snappers salvaged a split with a 5-1 victory.
The pair of seven-inning games was made necessary by a rainout Thursday.
Wilson raised his after to .305, hit his 11th home run of the year and increased his RBI total to 52 in the opener.
Beloit managed to tie the game in the third against Lars Huijer. Philip Pohl walked, and Huijer hit MWL All-Star Game MVP Herschel “Boog” Powell with a pitch to put two on with no outs. Huijer got the next three batters to ground out, but Pohl scored on the second one.
That was all the damage the Snappers did against Huijer. He allowed just the one run and three hits as he improved to 3-5.
Clinton broke open the game by scoring five runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Justin Seager led off with a single and was sacrificed to second before Martin Peguero replaced him as a pinch runner. Zach Shank walked and Aaron Barbosa singled to load the bases, then Jack Reinheimer put Clinton ahead to stay when Lou Trivino walked him to force in a run.
Sam Bragg replaced Trivino, and Wilson greeted him with an infield hit that brought in another run. Marcus Littlewood hit into a fielder’s choice, with Beloit recording the out at home, but Chantz Mack cleared the bases with a triple to right field.