CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings scored three times in the bottom of the ninth before falling just short in their comeback bid in a 5-4 loss to the Swing of the Quad Cities at Alliant Energy Field Monday night.

Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Clinton, which had won three straight, rallied. No. 9 hitter Alberto Martinez started the rally with an infield hit to third base. He moved to second on a throwing error on the play.

After a wild pitch moved Martinez to third base Jose Vallejo followed with a sinking line drive to left that Swing left fielder Shane Robinson dove for, but could not come up with. Martinez scored and Vallejo raced into second with a double.

Quad Cities then turned to reliever Brian Stitt, who promptly struck out David Peterson. Terry Blunt, who was 3-for-5, followed with an RBI single to center.

Freddie Thon then reached on an error that got by Swing second baseman Casey Rowlett. Blunt raced around to third on the play. Thon was replaced by pinch runner Truan Mehl who represented the tying run.

Mehl promptly stole second without a play. With one out and runners at second and third, John Mayberry, who had belted his 10th home run in the second inning, lofted a sacrifice fly to left.

The tying run was left at second as Brian Valichka popped out to second to end the game.

“These kids have been fighting all year,” L-Kings manager Andy Fox said. “There’s no moral victory in a one-run loss, but they played hard to give us a chance. That’s all you can ask. We had an opportunity, but we couldn’t get the hit when we needed it.”

Mayberry put the L-Kings up 1-0 when he led off the bottom of the second with a home run to center.

Clinton had a chance for more in the inning as Valichka followed with a walk and K.C. Herren singled to center. With two outs Vallejo drew a walk to load the bases, but recent St. Louis Cardinals’ draft choice Tyler Norrick, who was making his first professional start, struck out Peterson to end the inning.

Quad Cities left the bases loaded in the fourth. Randy Roth led off with a double. With one out Chad Gabriel walked and with two outs Jose Martinez was hit by a pitch. But, L-Kings starting pitcher Juan Jimenez struck out Rowlett, the No. 9 hitter, to end the inning.

John Whittleman led off the Clinton half of the fourth with a double to right. With one out Vallejo reached on an infield hit up the middle. But, on the play Whittleman rounded third base too far and was thrown out trying to get back to third.

The Swing pulled even at 1-1 in the fifth. Robinson led off with a double to right. He moved to third on Dan Nelson’s groundout, then scored on a wild pitch by Jimenez.

The score stayed that way until the eighth, when Colby Rasmus jump-started Quad Cities with a leadoff home run into the Lumber Lounge.

Roth followed with a double to left, ending the night for Jimenez who was replaced by Juan Carlos Garcia. Garcia walked the first batter he faced, Bryan Anderson, and on ball four the pitch went to the backstop.

The ball apparently got hung up in the padding on the wall behind home plate as Roth raced around from second to score while Anderson moved around to second. After a few discussions Roth was ordered back to third and Anderson to first.

Roth then scored on a groundout by Gabriel, with Anderson moving to second. A.J. Van Slyke then singled to center, moving Anderson to third.

For the second time in the game Jose Martinez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Rowlett made it 4-1 with a sacrifice fly to center.

Quad Cities tacked on another very important run in the top of the ninth off Clinton reliever Julian Cordero. With one out Rasmus drew a walk. Roth followed with an infield hit.

Anderson then reached on a fielding error by Thon at first base. Rasmus scored on the play and Roth moved around to third. Gabriel then grounded to Whittleman at third base who fired to Alberto Martinez, the catcher, who tagged Anderson out for the second out. Van Slyke ended the inning with a soft line drive to Whittleman.

Norrick allowed a run on eight hits and two walks over four innings. He struck out seven. Ashley Hooks (2-1) worked three shutout innings of relief for the win, allowing just one hit. Vander Weg allowed two runs on two hits in an inning-plus. Stitt earned his eighth save, allowing an unearned run on one hit.

Jimenez (2-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks over seven-plus innings. He struck out four. Garcia allowed a run in eighth and Cordero an unearned run in the ninth.

The teams are tied 4-4 in their season series. The teams square off in Game 2 of their three-game series tonight at 7 p.m. It will be Principal Financial Group Fun Fest Night.



ab r h bi ab r h bi

Robinson lf 5 1 3 0 Vallejo 2b 4 1 2 1

Nelson 3b 5 0 0 0 Peterson ss 5 0 1 0

Rasmus cf 4 2 2 1 Blunt cf 5 1 3 1

Roth 1b 4 1 3 0 Thon 1b 5 0 1 0

Anderson c 4 1 1 0 Mehl pr 0 0 0 0

Gabriel rf 4 0 1 1 Mayberry rf 4 1 1 2

Van Slyke dh 5 0 1 0 Valichka dh 4 0 1 0

Martinez ss 2 0 0 0 Herren lf 4 0 1 0

Rowlett 2b 3 0 0 1 Whttlmn 3b 4 0 1 0

Martinez c 4 1 1 0

Totals 36 5 11 3 Totals 39 4 12 4

Quad Cities 000 010 031 —5

Clinton 010 000 003 —4

E—Nelson 2, Rowlett, Thon. LOB—Quad Cities 11, Clinton 11. 2B—Roth 2, Robinson, Whittleman, Vallejo. 3B—Rasmus. HR—Rasmus (10), Mayberry (10). SB—Mehl (8). CS—Roth, Gabriel. SF—Rowlett, Mayberry.


Quad Cities

Norrick 4 8 1 1 2 7

Hooks W,2-1 3 1 0 0 0 1

VanderWeg 1 2 2 2 0 1

Stitt S,8 1 1 1 0 0 1


Jimenez L,2-3 7 9 3 3 2 4

Garcia 1 1 1 1 1 0

Cordero 1 1 1 0 1 1

Vander Weg pitched to 2 batters in the 9th. Jimenez pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.

HBP—by Jimenez (Martinez), by Garcia (Martinez). WP—Vander Weg, Jimenez 2, Garcia. Umpires—Matt Schaufert (plate), Robert Boyle (bases). Time—3:00. Attendance—1,035.

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