Special to the Herald
The Clinton LumberKings continue to play their best baseball down the stretch grabbing their ninth victory in 10 games. Clinton held on for a 4-3 win in the series opener against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Wednesday.
The LumberKings jumped out to an early lead in the second inning. A two-out rally brought home three runs for Clinton, capped by a two-run single from Martin Peguero.
Wisconsin staged a comeback to knot the game at three runs apiece. Garrett Cooper and Victor Roache ripped back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth to make it 3-2. The Timber Rattlers tied it as Alfredo Rodriguez scored on a Tyrone Taylor sacrifice fly. Rodriguez reached on an error by Martin Peguero, making the run unearned for David Holman.
In the seventh inning, Clinton catcher Tyler Marlette pioneered a major momentum swing. With one out, Wisconsin’s Orlando Arcia lined a double to left. He got greedy, and during the next at-bat, Marlette caught Arcia on a third base steal attempt for the second out.
Had Arcia reached, he would have scored on Alfredo Rodriguez’s ensuing line drive single to center. Instead, Marlette not only saved a run, but the catcher ended the inning when he sniped Rodriguez trying to swipe second base keeping the game tied 3-3.
“Both runners didn’t get a really good jump,” Marlette said. “The first guy (Arcia), I knew right away because he’s done it to us three or four times. So I called fastball in and got him.
“(Coach) Mike Kinkade and I have been working a lot on transitioning,” he added. “Other than that, it was just two good throws.”
Clinton took the lead for good in the bottom half. Martin Peguero led off the frame with a single. After a pair of fielder’s choices, Dario Pizzano smacked a line drive into the left-center gap. Alfredo Morales scored all the way from first base on Pizzano’s team-high 33rd double. Pizzano also leads the team with 64 runs batted in.
The Timber Rattlers threatened in the ninth, but Clinton escaped with the win. Mark Bordonaro worked around a leadoff walk to Victor Roache, eventually stranding the tying run on third base.
David Holman thrived once again in the starter’s role. Holman earned his fourth victory with another solid seven innings of work, allowing three runs on eight hits. Bordonaro finished off the win for his third save of the year.
The LumberKings and Timber Rattlers square off in Game 2 today. Clinton goes for their fourth straight series win with right-hander Charles Kaalekahi (5-4, 4.57) against Wisconsin right-hander Jorge Lopez (7-8, 5.15). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Ashford University Field.