CLINTON – A wild ballgame at Ashford University Field came to an end after 11 innings Thursday night as the Clinton LumberKings dropped a 5-4 decision to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Midwest League baseball.
Clinton took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning, thanks to Jordy Lara’s sixth home run of the year, a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh inning.
But in the top of the ninth, Wisconsin center fielder Tyrone Taylor hit a fly ball down the left-field line that was originally ruled a foul ball by home plate umpire Nate Tomlinson. After Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson argued, the umpires conferenced and motioned for Clinton manager Eddie Menchaca to come on the field.
After a lengthy conversation with Menchaca, the umpired reversed the call into a game-tying home run. After the home run signal, Menchaca argued the call and was ejected by Tomlinson.
LumberKings pitcher Richard Vargas struck out the next two batters, but Wisconsin loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, then went ahead 4-2 on Chris McFarland’s two-run single.
Clinton then rallied with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to force extra innings.
With Jabari Henry on first, Ketel Marte hit a line drive off pitcher Martin Viramontes. He scooped up the ball and sent an underhand toss over the head of first baseman Max Walla. Henry scored from first and Marte made it to third. The next batter, Dario Pizzano, hit an infield single to short that scored Marte and tie the game at 4-4.
In the 11th, Wisconsin got consecutive singles from Tyler Roberts, McFarland and Michael Reed. Reed’s hit gave the Rattlers a 5-4 lead. Clinton went in order in its half of the inning.
Clinton turns to left-hander Tyler Pike (4-3, 2.91 ERA), while Wisconsin counters with right-hander Jorge Lopez (3-6, 6.46) when the teams wrap-up a four-game series today.