CLINTON — Clinton starter Scott DeCecco retired the first 15 batters he faced en route to a 4-3 LumberKings win over the Burlington Bees, Sunday afternoon, at Ashford University Field.
Staked to an early 1-0 lead, DeCecco struck out four in the first two innings. Guillermo Pimentel made it 2-0 with an RBI single to right in the third. Clinton added a pair in the fourth on hits from Jordy Lara, Ketel Marte and Dario Pizzano.
Up 4-0, DeCecco cruised through the first five innings without a hitch. In the top of the sixth, Burlington’s Andrew Ray doubled down the left-field line to break up the perfect game bid. DeCecco retired the next two hitters but then allowed a run-scoring single to Sherman John- son that got the Bees on the board.
Kyle Johnson followed with a single and DeCecco hit Wade Hinkle to load the bases. Eddie Menchaca summoned Jochi Ogando from the bullpen who promptly retired Michael Bolaski on a pop-up for the final out in the inning.
The Bees added a pair against Ogando in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Sandy Martinez and an RBI single by Pedro Toribio. Clinging to a 4-3 lead in the eighth, Ogando loaded the bases again but retired Chance Ross on a groundout to end the threat.
Matt Vedo came on for the ninth and retired the Bees in order for his second save of the year.
It was a bounce back win for the LumberKings, who fell in extra innings on Saturday to the Bees, 7-4. Burlington scored three runs in the top of the 10th to steal the victory, despite an early Clinton lead.
Taylor Ard knocked in Patrick Kivlehan to open the scoring in the first inning. In the second, Marte ripped his second triple of the season to score Brock Hebert. Marte came home on a sacrifice fly by Jabari Henry to give Clinton a 3-1 lead.
Burlington tied the game in the seventh inning once the LumberKings went to their bullpen. Rusty Shellhorn could not hold the lead for starter Matt Anderson, surrendering an RBI single by Wade Hinkle to knot the game at 3-3.
The deadlock continued until the 10th inning. After Clinton’s Grady Wood walked Wendell Soto, both Sherman and Kyle Johnson singled
to take a 5-4 lead. A LumberKings’ error, a bases-loaded walk and an infield single pushed to lead to 7-4.
The weekend split brings Clinton’s record to 27-29 overall.
The two teams wrap up the four-game series on Monday at Ashford University Field. Clinton sends left-hander Blake Holovach (0-0, 3.14 ERA) to the mound against Bees right-hander Jake Boyd (3-3, 3.46 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.