CLINTON – For the 10th time in 2013, Clinton walked-off with a win at Ashford University Field. This time it was Taylor Ard who played hero with a base hit to right-center, scoring Tyler Marlette with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Ard’s hit had league-wide repercussions. Following Thursday’s 11-inning loss by division rival Peoria, Clinton and the Chiefs are now tied for fourth in the Midwest League West at 26-26 and, consequently, the fourth available playoff spot in the division.
A 5-5 game into the ninth inning stayed that way when Clinton reliever Jochi Ogando got Teoscar Hernandez to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the ninth inning.
Bandits reliever Juan Minaya retired Janelfry Zorrilla and Dario Pizzano to start the home half of the ninth. That’s when Marlette sparked the rally with a base hit, his second of the night. Jordy Lara then followed with a two-strike base hit up the middle to put runners at the corners for Ard.
Ard, the LumberKings’ first baseman was 0-for-4 on the night before he hit a full-count offering to right-center off Minaya for the winner.
Much like Game 1 of the series Wednesday night, Game 2 was a seesaw battle. Quad Cities jumped on Scott DeCecco early when Bobby Borching blasted a two-run homer in the first. Clinton took the lead in the third on Lara’s bases-clearing double. Lara came on in the top half of the inning for D.J. Peterson who left with an injured left wrist.
The LumberKings added a pair on Martin Peguero’s two-run single in the fourth. Quad Cities returned the favor with three unanswered runs in the middle innings to knot the game at 5-5.
Ogando picked up his first win of the year and Minaya was charged with the loss, his sixth.
Clinton will attempt for a sweep tonight. Right-hander David Holman (2-6, 3.49) will take the mound against right-hander Chris Devenski (2-2, 5.04). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Ashford University Field.