CLINTON — At one point during the 2014 season, offense was a problem for the Clinton LumberKings. The bats were anything but quiet to start the new season Friday. 

However, Clinton fell to Beloit 4-3 with the Snappers rallying for two runs in the seventh inning. 

The LumberKings got into trouble in the seventh with two runners in scoring position and one out. Rohn Pierce opened the inning in place of starter Daniel Missaki, who got the opening day start one day after his 19th birthday. 

Pierce gave up a two-run single that scored Sandber Pimentel and Max Kuhn. 

Clinton had a chance to tie the game in the ninth after Nelson Ward hit his second triple of the night to center field.

Then, top prospect Alex Jackson came to the plate with Ward 90 feet away. On a 2-2 count, Snappers reliever Mike Fagan threw a low curveball to Jackson. Home plate umpire Andrew Chesnut originally called the ball, which would have allowed Ward to score, but after Beloit contested the call, the umpiring crew ruled that Jackson was hit by the pitch.

“I was up there trying to put one in play for my team and got a curveball that hit me in the foot, and so be it,” Jackson, Seattle’s first-round draft pick last year, said. “It also helped out the team getting on base.” 

Jackson’s first Midwest League at-bat was a double in the first inning after leadoff hitter Chantz Mack and Ward tripled back-to-back to start the season.

“It felt good; we all played good,” Jackson said. “First game out, it went very well.”

Jackson said there were no nerves. 

“We all love to play this game; we’ve been wanting to do this with our lives,” he said. “There was no nerves; we all just went out and played.” 

Clinton Manager Scott Steinmann doesn’t recall seeing a game — let alone a season — begin with two triples and a double. 

“I have a hard time recalling seeing that to start a game,” Steinmann said. “I was happy to see the bats come alive. We were one pitch away from a W tonight.” 

Joe DeCarlo didn’t lose any power over the offseason, as he homered to lead off the fourth inning off Snappers starter Brett Graves. 

Missaki wasn’t able to get a start on his birthday Thursday because of inclement weather, but Steinmann thought his first full day as a 19-year-old was productive. 

“I was very happy with his outing; he was very good,” Steinmann said. “He set the tone for the rotation, even with giving up two in the first inning. The rest were clean innings and the other guys have to live up to it. If they do that, we’ll have a great season.” 

Missaki’s first run allowed was on a balk in the first inning. 

Clinton and Beloit will return for a doubleheader this afternoon at 2 p.m. 

  

SNAPPERS 4, LUMBERKINGS 3

Beloit ab r h bi Clinton ab r h bi

Vertigan cf 4 1 3 0 Mack dh 4 1 1 0

Munoz ss 4 1 2 0 Ward 2b 5 1 2 1

Bennie lf 3 0 0 1 Jackson rf 4 0 1 1

Pimentel dh 2 1 0 0 EMorales lf 5 0 0 0

Kuhn 1b 4 1 1 0 DeCarlo 3b 3 1 1 1

Duinkerk rf 3 0 1 0 Brito 1b 4 0 1 0

Diaz 3b 4 0 0 0 Mariscal ss 3 0 1 0

Gilbert 2b 3 0 1 2 Torres c 4 0 1 0

Chavez c 3 0 1 0 Fields 3 0 0 0

Totals 30 4 9 3 Totals 34 3 8 3

Beloit 200 000 2004

Clinton 200 100 0003

DP — Clinton 4. LOB — Beloit 3, Clinton 10. 2B — Munoz (1), Jackson (1). 3B — Mack (1), Ward 2 (2). HR — DeCarlo (1). S — Duinkerk. CS — Munoz (1).

     IP H R ER BB SO

 Beloit

Graves 5 5 3 3 2 3

CMiller W 1-0 2 2 0 0 1 1

Fagan S 1 2 1 0 0 1 3

 Clinton

Missaki 6 5 2 2 1 5

Pierce L 0-1 1 1/3 3 2 2 2 1

Kerski 1 2/3 1 0 0 0 1

WP — Pierce. Bk — Missaki. HBP — Jackson (by Fagan). U — Andrew Chesnut (p), J.C. Velez (b). Att. — 1,110. T — 2:35. 

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