HERALD STAFF REPORT
CLINTON — In stark contrast to the series opener Tuesday night in Clinton, Wednesday’s matinee was controlled entirely by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Wisconsin handed Clinton its worst loss of the season, a 10-2 final that dropped the LumberKings to 8-12 on the season.
Five Clinton errors led to five unearned runs. Lukas Schiraldi (L, 1-2) allowed only four hits over 4.1 innings, but his defense committed four of its five errors while he was on the mound.
“That’s way too many,” Clinton Manager Scott Steinmann said. “We threw the ball around ... it’s sloppy, and they took advantage of it.”
Two errors in the first inning led to two runs for Wisconsin, as the visiting team scored first for the seventh time in eight Clinton home games. Unlike Tuesday however, Clinton was unable to come from behind to pick up the win.
“We put ourselves behind the 8-ball for most of the day,” Steinmann said. “We shot ourselves in the foot in most of our losses, but they’re working hard and they’re young. Things like this happen in A-ball.”
Down 3-1 after three innings, Wisconsin (7-13) broke the game open with a three-run fourth inning off of Schiraldi. Singles by Tucker Neuhaus and Greg McCall put runners at first and third base with no outs, and Schiraldi issued Clinton’s league leading seventh balk of the season, which plated a run.
After another single and a hit batter loaded the bases, Gregory Munoz grounded out to Gianfranco Wawoe at second base, but Chris Mariscal’s attempt to turn it into a double play resulted in one of his three errors in the game, as McCall and Jacob Gatewood both scored on the throwing error.
The LumberKings plated a run on a walk and two wild pitches in the third inning on Wisconsin starter Milton Gomez (W, 1-1). Clinton came away with only one run after they loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, as they managed just two groundouts and a strikeout in the next three batters.
Neuhaus, in his first game of the season, was a double short of the cycle with 3 RBIs.
In the loss, Wawoe extended his hitting streak to a league high 13 games, as he singled to begin the bottom of the first inning. The five errors committed by Clinton surpassed their previous season high of three. With a 2-3 afternoon, Joe DeCarlo was the only Clinton hitter to record multiple hits.