The Lumberkings ran out of gas in the seventh, however, going down in order to end the game and drop 3 of 4 in the two doubleheaders.
“We showed some fight in all four games,” Menchaca said. “The season is still young, so we’ve seen a lot of good things.”
The LumberKings and Kernels saw something Saturday that they hadn’t seen in days.
The sun made a couple of appearances during the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, and it seemed as if the Lumberkings were going to have a good day against the Kernels.
The first inning started out promising for Clinton as it put two runs on the board with one swing of the bat from third baseman Patrick Kivlehan. Kernels pitcher Hudson Boyd gave up a single to Dario Pizzano and struck out Guillermo Pimentel before going to a full count against Kivlehan, but he put the 3-2 pitch right in Kivlehan’s wheelhouse, and Kivlehan sent it over the left-field fence for the early lead.
Unfortunately, Clinton’s pitching staff couldn’t hold onto it.
In the fourth inning, Clinton starter Matt Anderson couldn’t find the strike zone, walking three of the next four hitters after the first out and giving up a double to Niko Goodrum. An RBI single from Buxton spelled the end of Anderson’s night.
The Lumberkings brought in Dominic Leone to relieve Anderson, and he promptly uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the Kernels third run to score, giving them the lead. Leone walked the next two batters, bringing another run across the plate for Cedar Rapids, before inducing a groundout from Hicks.
Small ball in the bottom of the fifth inning from the Lumberkings closed the gap to 4-3, but that was as close as they would get. Walks and missed opportunities hurt the Lumberkings in the one-run loss as they had opportunities in the sixth and sevent but could not execute.