CLINTON — The Clinton LumberKings displayed more of their offensive power Sunday afternoon with an 8-6 victory over the Peoria Chiefs in the finale of the four-game series.

Led by John Whittleman’s two home runs, his 11th and 12th of the year, Clinton is making its push for a first-half playoff spot, leaving LumberKing manager Mike Micucci happy with their performance.

“We were able to come out and put some runs on the board,” Micucci said. “We control our own destiny and are taking it one game at a time.”

Whittleman also homered once in Saturday night’s game, a 4-2 loss to the Chiefs, ending his 20-game homer-less streak.

Sunday Peoria jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with a solo shot from Ryne Malone followed by three straight base hits that scored Josh Lansford.

Clinton’s bats came alive in the third inning with Whittleman’s first round-tripper of the day, a two-run shot into the Lumber Lounge beyond the wall in right-center field.

The LumberKings did not stop there. In the bottom of the fourth Clinton sent nine men to the plate, scoring four runs off of four hits and a couple of walks.

The blitz started with a single by Mauro Gomez followed by a Manny Pina double. Wally Backman walked to load the bases, leading to a fielder’s choice by David Paisano that drove in Gomez. A single by Marcus Lemon scored Pina, giving the LumberKings a 4-2 lead.

After a Jose Vallejo walk loaded the bases again Chad Tracy cranked a two-run double, giving Clinton a 6-2 lead.

The LumberKings added a run in the fifth with Lemon driving in Pina with a single and Whittleman belted his second dinger in the sixth, making it 8-2.

After the rough first inning LumberKings starting pitcher Mike Ballard settled things down, allowing just one hit in his final 5 1/3 innings of work. He finished with five strikeouts and just one walk to earn his team-leading eighth win of the year.

Peoria did not lay down, though, scoring a run in the seventh and the Chiefs’ Yusuf Carter hit a three-run shot in the eighth to make it 8-6, but as Peoria manager Ryne Sandberg said, “It was too little, too late.”

Clinton’s Jose Marte struck out two in the top of the ninth to seal the game, earning his second save since recently joining the team.

Saturday’s game was not as sweet for Clinton.

A terrific outing by Peoria’s Robert Hernandez shut down the LumberKing offense for the first four innings.

Lemon led off the game for Clinton with a single, but Hernandez retired the next 12 batters, striking out five.

“He is a good young pitcher that gave us a big lift,” Sandberg said. “We also had some timely hitting. When you put those together it’s a pretty good ballgame.”

Clinton did show signs of life in the fifth with a K.C. Herren double followed by a David Peterson RBI single.

Whittleman’s eighth-inning homer was it for Clinton, handing Midwest League All-Star selection Broc Coffman his first loss of the year.

“You are not going to win them all,” Micucci said. “We try to bulk everything into the series, and we feel we accomplished our goal winning three out of four.”

Sandberg had some nice parting words about his four-game stint in Clinton.

“I appreciate the good crowds,” Sandberg said. “It’s a good atmosphere to play in. I enjoyed my visit here.”

Whittleman’s multi-homer day is his second this season and the fourth of his career. He lifted off for two homers in a win at West Michigan back on April 20.

Lemon’s three hits tied his season-high and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Tracy’s two RBIs gives him a team-high 50 this year and his double was his team-leading 19th.

Gomez extended his hit streak to eight games.

SATURDAY’S GAME

CHIEFS 4, LUMBERKINGS 2

PEORIA CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Camp cf 5 1 1 0 Lemon ss 3 0 1 0

Malone 2b 3 0 1 0 Vallejo 2b 4 0 1 0

Lansford 3b 3 0 0 1 Whttlmn 3b 4 1 1 1

Norwood dh 3 0 0 0 Tracy lf 2 0 0 0

Canzler 1b 4 0 2 1 Herren rf 4 1 1 0

Carter rf 4 1 1 1 Gomez 1b 4 0 1 0

Joseph lf 4 1 2 0 Peterson dh 4 0 1 1

Johnston ss 4 0 1 1 Gossage c 4 0 1 0

Canepa c 3 1 0 0 Paisano cf 3 0 0 0

Totals 33 4 8 4 Totals 32 2 7 2



Peoria 002 002 000 —4

Clinton 000 010 010 —2

E—Hernandez. DP—Peoria 1. LOB—Peoria 6, Clinton 6. 2B—Canzler, Malone, Johnston, Herren. HR—Carter (6), Whittleman (10). SB—Peterson (2). CS—Johnston, Peterson. S—Malone.

IP H R ER BB SO

Peoria

Hernandez W,2-1 5 3 1 1 0 5

Ruhlman 1 1/3 3 0 0 2 2

Papelbon S,2 2 2/3 1 1 1 1 3

Clinton

Coffman L,5-1 5 1/3 7 4 4 3 5

Haar 2/3 1 0 0 0 0

Garr 2 0 0 0 0 3

Slusarz 1 0 0 0 0 1

WP—Coffman. PB—Canepa. Umpires—Ike Boykins (plate), Patrick Barbour (bases). Time—2:50. Attendance—3,011.



LUMBERKINGS 8, CHIEFS 6

PEORIA CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Camp cf 3 0 1 0 Lemon ss 5 1 3 2

Adduci lf 2 0 1 1 Vallejo 2b 4 1 0 0

Malone 2b 4 1 1 1 Whittlmn 3b 5 2 2 3

Lansford 3b 5 1 2 0 Tracy lf 3 0 1 2

Canzler 1b 3 1 1 0 Herren rf 4 0 0 0

Norwood dh 4 1 2 0 Gomez 1b 3 1 1 0

Carter rf 3 2 2 3 Pina c 4 2 2 0

Castillo c 4 0 0 0 Backmn dh 3 0 1 0

Joseph lf 4 0 0 0 Paisano cf 4 1 0 1

Johnston ss 4 0 0 0

Totals 37 6 10 5 Totals 35 8 10 8



Peoria 200 000 130 —6

Clinton 002 411 00x —8

E—Castillo, Herren, Whittleman, Lemon. DP—Clinton 1. Peoria 6, Clinton 7. 2B—Tracy. 3B—Carter. HR—Malone (3), Carter (7), Whitteman 2 (12). SB—Lemon (6), Paisano (2). CS—Camp, Joseph.

IP H R ER BB SO

Peoria

Carrillo L,1-2 4 6 6 6 4 5

Clipp 3 4 2 2 0 3

Bernard 1 0 0 0 0 1

Clinton

Ballard W,8-4 6 1/3 6 3 1 2 5

Gudex 1 2/3 4 3 3 0 1

Marte S,2 1 0 0 0 1 2

WP—Carrillo 2. Umpires—Barbour (plate), Boykins (bases). Time—2:46. Attendance—1,582.