CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings advanced to the Western Division championship series as they beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-4 Friday night.

LumberKing starter Evan Reed was not suppose to be the Game 3 starter, but with Beau Jones getting a long relief appearance the night before he was called upon.

The Kernels came out swinging, scoring three runs in the first three frames. The LumberKings struck right back with three in the third.

Manny Pina and Renny Osuna started the Clinton third with back-to-back singles. Marcus Lemon was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Jose Vallejo’s sac fly to center score Pina and K.C. Herren singled to right to plate Osuna. Cedar Rapids starter Sean O’Sullivan balked in the tying run.

Osuna struck again in the fourth when he singled in David Paisano to give the LumberKings a 4-3 lead.

The Kernels pulled even in the top of the sixth, but the tie was short-lived. Marcus Lemon led off the bottom of the inning with a triple down the left-field line.

With two strikes and one out Herren shot a single to left that gave the LumberKings the upper hand for good.

Reed went 5 1/3 innings. He was replaced by Jeremiah Haar who would shut down the Kernels bats.

“You go in facing probably the hottest team in the league and you lose the first game at their place, but our guys stayed calm and didn’t panic and kept at it,” Clinton manager Mike Micucci said.

Josh Lueke came on to close the game. He struck out Anderson Rosario. Then, came the defensive play of the game as Lemon leaped to rob a hit from Kernel catcher Brian Walker for the second out

“We played really well defensively tonight,” Micucci said. “Osuna made some great plays at third, along with a bunch of other guys on the team.”

Lueke got Stantrel Smith to pop to Lemon for the final out.

“It feels great to get the save,” Lueke said. “After I got that second out I tried to put the ball through Pina. He came out and settled me down and we got the win.”

The LumberKings will host Beloit tonight at 5 p.m. in Game 1 of the Western Division championship series.

“It’s kind of weird how the first-half clubs will meet in the championship series because usually the teams in the second half have the momentum,” Micucci said.

Game 1 will feature Clinton starter Jared Hyatt who is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA and Beloit’s Cole Devries who is 9-5 with a 3.41 ERA.

LUMBERKINGS 5, KERNELS 4

CEDAR RAPIDS CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Mount 2b 4 2 4 0 Lemon ss 4 2 2 0

Bourjos cf 4 1 2 2 Vallejo 2b 3 0 0 1

Ortiz ss 3 1 1 0 Herren rf 5 0 2 2

Trumbo 1b 4 0 0 0 Tracy lf 3 0 0 0

Conger dh 4 0 1 0 Gomez 1b 3 0 1 0

Nieves 3b 4 0 1 1 Kemp dh 2 0 0 0

Johnson rf 2 0 0 0 Paisano cf 4 1 1 0

Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 Pina c 4 1 2 0

Rosario rf 1 0 0 0 Osuna 3b 4 1 2 1

Walker c 4 0 0 0

Smith lf 4 0 1 0



Cedar Rapids 102 001 000 —4

Clinton 003 101 00x —5

E—Ortiz, Pina. DP—Cedar Rapids 1, Clinton 1. LOB—Cedar Rapids 5, Clinton 10. 2B—Mount. 3B—Mount, Lemon. SB—Oritz, Bourjos, Paisano. CS—Smith. S—Vallejo. SF—Vallejo.

IP H R ER BB SO

Cedar Rapids

O’Sullivan 4 8 4 4 2 1

Browning (L) 2 1/3 2 1 1 1 2

Albano 1 2/3 0 0 0 0 1

Clinton

Reed 5 1/3 9 4 3 0 5

Haar (W) 2 2/3 1 0 0 0 1

Lueke (S) 1 0 0 0 0 1

O’Sullivan pitched to 2 batters in the 5th.

WP—Reed, Haar. Balk—O’Sullivan. Time—2:47. Attendance—658.

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