The second game started off a bit rocky for the River Kings, who were in a 2-0 hole after the top of the first. Burlington capitalized on two Clinton errors in that inning, which began with a single from Chanse McChesney.
“My defense is really what I can depend on,” said Jake Simpson, Clinton’s Game 2 starter. “My defense really just always comes through for me and helps me, so when I’m in that 3-1 count, 3-2 count, I can throw that fastball and know that I have a defense behind me if they hit it.”
Clinton wasted no time fighting back, putting two runs across the plate on two Grayhounds errors, two hits and a sacrifice fly, the first of three on the night from Cody Collender. The game didn’t stay tied for long, as Burlington squeaked out another run against Simpson on three bloop singles to the outfield.
“They’re hard to deal with. You think, ‘Oh, I could have maybe struck them out,’ but in the end there’s nothing you can do about it so you just have to erase it and come back with the next batter,” Simpson said.
From there, Simpson shut down the Grayhounds, and the Clinton offense was only getting started.
The River Kings took over the lead in the third with three runs on another Burlington error and a two-run single from Evan Jackson, who drove in five runs during the win. A single run in the fourth gave the River Kings breathing room with a 6-3 lead, but they weren’t done yet.
Things broke open big time in the sixth inning.
“It’s funny. We tend to be behind in the beginning and then typically in the third or the sixth inning, for whatever reason, seem to be the inning that everything starts to flow for us, and we saw it again tonight in the sixth inning. That seems to be our inning all the time,” Cunningham said.