Herald Staff Report

CLINTON — Steve Moss’s bid for a ninth-inning grand slam came up just short, as did Clinton’s attempt for a comeback victory. Instead, Great Lakes salvaged the final game of a three-game series at Alliant Energy Field with an 8-5 victory Sunday afternoon in Midwest League baseball.

What might have been a pitchers duel turned into a high-scoring affair because of several miscues in the field. Seven errors led to nine unearned runs between the two teams.

Clinton took advantage of Blake Brannon’s control issues to load the bases for Moss in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brought in to protect an 8-4 lead, Brannon walked the only three batters he faced: Maximo Mendez, Terry Serrano and Scott Savastano.

Javy Guerra replaced Brannon, and Moss greeted him by sending a fly ball that was just shy of the wall in left field and went for a sacrifice fly. Guerra made sure the LumberKings got no closer, though, as he struck out Nate Tenbrink and Travis Howell to earn his 11th save.

Clinton starter Alfredo Venegas retired the first six Loons he faced before Tenbrink’s error at third base allowed Anthony Hatch to reach base to open the third inning. Alfredo Silverio doubled, and Hatch scored on Parker Dalton’s single. Silverio then scored on a double play that would have ended the inning without the error.

Clinton came right back and scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the third, helped by three Great Lakes errors. The first run scored on an error, and the LumberKings tied the game on Tenbrink’s RBI single. With two outs and runners on second and third, Mario Martinez singled to pitcher Justin Miller, who also made a bad throw on the play on which Moss and Tenbrink scored.

Venegas couldn’t hold the lead, though.

Hatch tied the game with a two-run single in the fourth, then Great Lakes scored four unearned runs in the fifth. Nick Buss reached on Terry Serrano’s two-out throwing error, and Austin Gallagher followed with his third home run of the season to put the Loons in front. They added two more later in the inning when Denny Almonte dropped a fly ball on the warning track in right field.

The LumberKings are on the road for the next six games, starting with a 6:30 p.m. game today at Peoria.

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