CLINTON — After enduring a tough first-half of the season, the Clinton LumberKings will get a bit of a break.

But not too long of a break, according to manager Andy Fox, as there’s plenty of work yet to be done.

“We’ll give the players a few days off,” said Fox after his team closed out the first half of the Midwest League campaign with an 8-3 loss to Burlington Sunday at Alliant Energy Field. “That will give the guys a chance to get away from things for a while. But we’ll meet back here Wednesday and they’ll have to get back into the mindset of playing ball.”

The LumberKings finished the first half with a 23-46 mark, worst in the league.

“I really don’t think the record’s indicative of how we’ve performed this year,” said Fox. “We just didn’t execute the way I know these guys are capable of executing.

“We saw flashes of really good ball — now it’s just a matter of drawing it out on a consistent basis,” he continued. “That’s the nice thing about playing two halves — starting Thursday we’re back to .500.”

Clinton was cruising along well in Sunday’s game, building a 2-0 lead before the wheels fell off. Burlington struck for five runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh for an 8-2 cushion.

“We had several opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize,” said Fox. “Pitching-wise, we made too many mistakes and they capitalized.”

Clinton’s first run came in the third inning. Joe Kemp blasted a triple to the center-field wall and scored on Brian Valichka’s line-drive single to center.

The LumberKings scored again in the fifth. K.C. Herren led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, went to third on Kemp’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Valichka blasted a double to the left-field corner.

Clinton starting pitcher Jacob Rasner (3-8) allowed just one base runner in the first five innings, but the Bees made amends in the sixth by sending eight batters on the plate.

Burlington had three hits in the frame, the biggest a towering three-run homer by Miguel Vega over the left-field fence.

“I figured we could get out of that inning without giving up so many runs,” said Fox. “We didn’t do a good job of damage control.”

The Bees kept it up in the seventh by sending nine men to the plate. Burlington had five hits in the inning, including RBI singles by Valentino Arce and Brady Everett.

Clinton managed a final run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Herren hit a triple to center and scored on Kemp’s groundout.

Matthew Kniginysky (7-3), who tossed five-hit ball over five innings, earned the win.

Burlington also won Saturday’s matchup by a 5-4 score.

The Bees scored three times in the second inning, with two runs coming across on Jeff Howell’s single, and added another run in the third for a 4-0 lead.

Clinton got on the board in the bottom of the third on Truan Mehl’s solo homer to right. Neither team scored again until the eighth inning when the LumberKings tied it with three runs.

With two out, David Peterson reached second on an error and scored on Mehl’s single to right.

Jose Vallejo was hit by a pitch and Matt Smith reached on a fielder’s choice that saw all runners safe, loading the bases.

Terry Blunt followed with a single to left to score two runs.

But Burlington answered with a run in the top of the ninth. Kiel Thibault had an infield single, went to second on Chris McConnell’s single to left and scored when J.P. Lowen singled to left.

Chris Hayes (2-2) was the winning pitcher, while the loss went to Juan Carlos Garcia (1-3).

Clinton’s lone representative in Tuesday’s Midwest League All-Star Game is Freddie Thon. The contest is at John O’Donnell Stadium in Davenport.

The LumberKings open the second half of the season at home when Southwest Michigan visits for a four-game set. Games Thursday, Friday and Saturday are at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s contest is at 2.

Fox is unsure of any upcoming player movement as the team prepares for the next half of the season.

“I haven’t heard anything, but I’m sure there will be some changes as the season progresses,” he said.

SUNDAY’S GAME

BEES 8, LUMBERKINGS 3

BURLINGTON CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Arce 2b 4 1 2 1 Vallejo 2b 3 0 1 0

Jerschele rf 4 0 1 1 Smith ss 4 0 1 0

Lisson 3b 4 1 1 0 Blunt lf 4 0 1 0

Everett lf 5 0 1 1 Thon 1b 4 0 0 0

Vega 1b 3 1 1 3 Whttlmn 3b 3 0 0 0

Thibault c 1 0 0 0 Mehl cf 4 0 0 0

Lowen c 4 0 0 0 Herren dh 3 2 1 0

McConnll ss 4 1 1 0 Kemp rf 3 1 2 1

Howell dh 4 2 3 0 Valichka c 4 0 3 2

Santana cf 4 2 1 0

Totals 37 8 11 6 Totals 32 3 9 3



Burlington 000 005 300 —8

Clinton 001 010 100 —3

E—Rasner, Whittleman DP—Clinton 1. LOB—Burlington 6, Clinton 6. 2B—Howell, Jirschele, Valichka, Blunt. 3B—Kemp, Herren. HR—Vega (7). SB—Arce (3), Lisson (21), Vallejo (10). CS—Whittleman. S—Arce, Vallejo, Kemp. SF—Jirschele.

IP H R ER BB SO

Burlington

Knighinysky (W,7-3) 5 5 2 2 2 2

Penn 3 3 1 1 0 1

Harkcom 1 1 0 0 0 1

Clinton

Rasner (L,3-8) 6 7 7 3 0 4

Cordero 1 2 1 0 1 1

Marte 2 2 0 0 0 3

Rasner faced 2 batters in the 7th.

HBP—Thibault (by Cordero). WP—Kniginsky. Balk—Marte. Umpires—Bucher, Seneca. Time—2:34. Attendance—752.



SATURDAY’S GAME

BEES 5, LUMBERKINGS 4

BURLINGTON CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Johnson 2b 2 0 0 0 Vallejo 2b 3 1 1 0

Jirschele rf 4 1 1 0 Smith dh 4 0 0 0

Lisson 3b 3 0 1 0 Blunt rf 4 0 2 2

Everett 1b 3 1 1 0 Thon 1b 4 0 0 0

Thibault c 3 2 1 0 Whttlmn 3b 4 0 0 0

Howell dh 4 1 1 1 Crabtree c 4 0 0 0

McConnell ss 3 0 1 0 Herren lf 4 0 0 0

Sabatini lf 3 0 0 0 Peterson ss 3 1 0 0

Lowen ph 1 0 1 1 Mehl cf 3 2 2 2

Santana cf 3 0 1 1

Totals 29 5 8 3 Totals 33 4 5 4



Burlington 031 000 001 —5

Clinton 001 000 030 —4

E—Sabatini, Mehl, Thon. DP—Burlington, Clinton. LOB—Burlington 4, Clinton 36. 2B—Johnson, Blunt. HR—Mehl (3). SB—Johnson (11). CS—Santana, McConnell, Johnson.

IP H R ER BB SO

Burlington

Nicoll 6 3 1 1 0 4

Oliveros 1 2/3 1 2 0 0 0

Hayes (W,2-2) 1 1/3 1 1 1 0 1

Clinton

Phillips 7 5 4 2 5 3

Oakes 1 0 0 0 2 1

Garcia (L,1-3) 1 3 1 1 0 2

HBP—Vallejo (by Hayes). WP—Phillips. Umpires—Seneca, Bucher. Time—2:33. Attendance—1,318.

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