CLINTON — It took until the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Clinton LumberKings tallied the only run of the game to drop the Wisconsin 1-0 in Midwest League baseball Sunday afternoon at Ashford University Field.
Gareth Morgan drove home Jhombeyker Morales with his second walk-off hit of the year to keep the LumberKings (61-69, 30-33 second half) in the playoff hunt.
Morales led off the inning with a single through the hole on the left side of the infield and moved to second on a Yojhan Quevedo single to center field. Joe Rizzo flew out to center, allowing Morales to move to third with two men out in the inning. On an 0-1 pitch from Jordan Desguin (5-5), Morgan hit a soft liner into left field that dropped for the game-winning hit.
Jeffeson Medina (6-0) picked up the win in relief for Clinton.
Medina entered in the eighth inning, and after allowing runners to reach second and third with one man out settled down to strike out the next two batters and exit the jam. In the top of the ninth, he worked around a two-out hit batter.
Ljay Newsome started for Clinton and threw the ball well over a seven-inning outing. Despite being given a no decision, he allowed no runs on three hits while walking none and striking out four. It was the fifth shutout this year for Clinton and second in three days.
Clinton struggled at the plate against Timber Rattlers starter Carlos Herrera. The 19 year-old worked six shutout innings for Wisconsin, at one point setting down 15 straight LumberKings. Chase Williams then threw two shutout innings of relief for Wisconsin before handing the ball over to Desguin for the ninth.
On Saturday, the Timber Rattlers ended Clinton's second-longest winning streak of the season, five games, with a 3-1 win.
Danny Garcia started for Clinton and limited the Timber Rattlers to two runs over five innings. Garcia (7-12) allowed three walks while striking out seven.
Wisconsin scored all their runs off Garcia in the top of the third inning. Mario Feliciano doubled home two runs with two outs in the inning for what proved to be the decisive blow of the night.
The LumberKings scored their only run in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull to within one run.
Clinton loaded the bases with one out against Victor Diaz. Daniel Brown (6-3) followed out of the bullpen and faced just one batter in the inning, Joe Rizzo. Rizzo lifted a ball just fair down the left-field line that was ruled an infield fly, making Rizzo an automatic out. Ryan Aguilar misplayed the fly ball as it kicked off his glove and rolled into foul territory. Louis Boyd then scored from third on the error, but the inning ended when Johnny Slater was out at the plate attempting to score when the throw to the plate bounced away from Timber Rattlers catcher Feliciano.
Wisconsin reclaimed the two-run lead in the seventh on an Aguilar RBI single to center. The run did not come without controversy, as it plated Demi Orimoloye on a bang-bang play at the plate. LumberKings Manager Tony Arnerich argued the call and was tossed from the game, his first ejection as LumberKings manager.
The LumberKings continue their seven-game homestand with the final game of a four-game series with Wisconsin at 6:30 tonight. Clinton right-hander Steven Ridings (1-2, 3.03 ERA) will take the ball for the LumberKings and face Wisconsin's right-handed pitcher Thomas Jankins (8-7, 3.84).