Special to the Herald
BELOIS, Wis. – David Holman did about all he could to try to snap the Clinton LumberKings’ recent skid.
The right-hander turned in the first complete game of his young career, but shaky defense sent Clinton to a 6-5 loss against Beloit in Midwest League baseball Monday night.
With a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, Beloit’s John Wooten stepped to the plate with two outs and sent a fly ball out to left-center. Clinton’s Janelfry Zorrilla camped under the ball but couldn’t make the catch.
Two runs scored on the three-base error and the game was tied 5-5.
The next batter, Renato Nunez laced a run-scoring single to right to give Beloit a 6-5 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Holman’s eight innings was a career-high for the Kansas native who joined the rotation at the beginning of August. He matched a career-high six strikeouts, and only two of the six runs he allowed were earned. Two Clinton errors contributed to three Beloit runs in the first inning.
Trailing 3-0 heading to the fourth inning, the LumberKings rallied for four runs off Beloit starter Dylan Covey.
With the bases loaded, Zach Shank was hit by a pitch, forcing in the first run. The next batter, Brock Hebert, reached on a fielder’s choice, and an error by Matt Olson allowed another run to score. Alfredo Morales walked to bring in another run to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs, Dario Pizzano’s slow roller allowed Hebert to score and make 4-3.
It stayed that way until the costly error in the sixth. Tyler Marlette started the ninth inning with a walk, but Clinton was turned away by Vincent Voiro, who locked down the win.
With Clinton’s loss, Wisconsin crept within two games of the LumberKings for the final playoff spot in the Western Division. Seven games remain for both teams.
Clinton will try to avoid the four-game sweep at 7 tonight. The LumberKings send right-hander Charles Kaalekahi (5-4, 4.52 ERA) against Beloit right-hander Andres Avila (6-4, 5.38).