The Clinton offense mustered just two runs on two hits over the first six innings against Lansing pitchers, but the LumberKings erupted for nine runs on seven hits in the seventh to beat the Lugnuts 11-5 on a steamy Monday morning at Alliant Energy Field.
Robbie Anston’s two-run double put Clinton ahead, while a two-run single by Mike McGee and two-run homer by Mickey Wiswall broke the game open.
Lansing took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against right-hander Taijuan Walker, but Clinton cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first as Anston drew a leadoff walk and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Wiswall.
The Lugnuts increased the lead to 4-1 on a two-run single by catcher Luis Hurtado in the fourth. Wiswall answered with an RBI double to score McGee in the bottom of the fourth, but a solo home run by Michael Crouse in the seventh put the Kings behind 5-2.
Lansing right-hander Dayton Marze, fresh off a perfect sixth inning, was greeted in the seventh by a leadoff flare single to right by Stefen Romero. After a passed ball, he scored on a grounder into right by Tim Morris to make it 5-3. Kevin Rivers walked, Jetsy Extrano reached on a bunt single and Anthony Phillips worked a bases-loaded walk to force Marze from the game.
Right-hander Shawn Griffith came on and walked Carlton Tanabe to tie the game, then yielded Anston’s double past drawn-in first-baseman K.C. Hobson, scoring Extrano and Phillips.
McGee singled to right to score Tanabe and Anston, and Wiswall cleared the right-center fence for a two-run homer to raise the lead to 11-5. Wiswall’s eighth blast highlighted Clinton’s biggest single inning of the season, eclipsing its previous high of six runs (accomplished four times).
The LumberKings (13-11) are off today and begin a six-game East Division road trip Wednesday as they open a three-game series against the South Bend Silver Hawks (9-14). First pitch from Coveleski Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. Left-hander Tony Butler (1-0, 1.62 ERA) gets the Game 1 nod for Clinton as South Bend counters with right-hander Mike Bolsinger (2-4, 2.96).