The top of the seventh started ominously for Clinton as winning pitcher Dylan Unsworth gave up a leadoff hit to Travis Harrison on the first pitch. But the hit was erased on a double play off the bat of Romy Jiminez. Unsworth struck out Jairo Rodriguez to get the complete-game victory for the Lumberkings.
“Unsworth did a great job for us,” Clinton manager Eddie Menchaca said. “That’s all you want out of a doubleheader — for him to kind of keep the game close and keep his pitch count down, which he did.”
In the second game, a laser of a home run from Dalton Hicks to right field chased Lumberking starter Oliver Garcia in the second inning. The three-run home run likely dented the side of the shed out in right at Ashford University Field, giving the Kernels the 4-0 lead.
After a long weekend, neither starter lasted long. Both managers went to their bullpens in the second inning.
Cedar Rapids had built a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Lumberkings got started in the bottom half putting up a four-spot to chip away at the lead.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids here with a lot of talent,” Menchaca said. “We’re going to fight. I think we’ve shown that all since we’ve started the season; these kids are going to battle. We’ve got a good clubhouse; we’ve got good team chemistry.”
The Kernels committed three errors in the inning, which combined with a sacrifice fly netted Clinton four runs. The Lumberkings followed that up by throwing out No. 2 overall draft pick Byron Buxton on an attempted steal in the top of the sixth and striking out the side.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Lumberkings continued to be a thorn in the side of Cedar Rapids relievers by trotting across two more runs to make it a 7-6 game. Another error by the Kernels defense allowed the Lumberkings to make it a one-run game, all after two outs.