CLINTON — For the Clinton LumberKings’ first foray into the Prospect League, it’s been so far, so good.
“A lot of them (the temporary players on Clinton’s roster) are saying, ‘Hey, coach, can I stay as long as possible?’” Clinton manager Jack Dahm said. “So I think that tells you about the experience from the LumberKings, (general manager) Ted Tornow and when we’re on the road, so it’s a very, very positive feedback from the players.”
The LumberKings fell 6-3 to the Burlington Bees on Memorial Day, in front of a much bigger home crowd than their season-opener, which was plagued by cold and windy weather.
The loss to Burlington came after the LKings split a two-game road trip over the weekend. Clinton defeated Quincy 4-2 on Saturday and fell at Burlington 15-9 on Sunday.
On Monday, the LumberKings were plagued by one bad inning in the fourth as a couple of bad throws allowed the first two runs of the game to score. Pitcher Steven Sanchez came in for starter Casey Perrenoud, and gave up a run that was credited as an earned run to Perrenoud.
The Bees tacked on two more unearned runs in the inning to take a 4-0 lead.
Clinton was unable to dig out of the hole the rest of the way, and ended the game with 15 runners left on base compared to Burlington’s seven. Clinton finished with three errors to the Bees’ zero.
“No. 1 thing, we left too many guys on base,” Dahm said. “It’s a little bit of execution here and there. Steven struggled just a little bit, but we’re going to keep putting Steven out there — he’s going to be a good one. He had a good outing at Quincy.
“We pitched pretty well except for that one big inning, and we made a defensive blunder there, which, maybe that’s a two-run inning instead of a four-run inning, and that could make a difference in the ball game. If we eliminate those three bases, get some timely hits — we didn’t get those timely hits tonight, so we’ll get right back at it.”
Clinton’s Rayth Petersen was the only LumberKing with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI. Bryce Dreher added two RBIs. Dom Milano, Matt Scherrman and Tyler Dahm each had a hit. Milano, Scherrman, Mason Schaller and Logan Romasanta each drew two walks, while Kyle Lehmann, Tyler Dahm and Larson Barnett each drew one. Tyler Dahm, Scherrman and Schaller each had a run scored. Milano (4) Scherrman (2) and Petersen (1) each had stolen bases.
Perrenoud pitched 3 ⅓ innings with three hits, two earned runs, a walk and a strikeout. Sanchez had no innings pitched with a run and two walks. TJ Deardorff pitched 3.2 innings with five hits, three runs (one earned), one walk and three strikeouts. Nolan Frey had one inning pitched. Casey Day had one inning pitched with one strikeout.
Burlington starter Simon Gregersen pitched 3.2 innings with one hit, one earned run, six walks and six strikeouts.
Dahm said it was special to spend Memorial Day playing in front of the LumberKings’ fans.
“First of all, it’s Memorial Day — since I’ve been growing up, when you think about Memorial Day, you think about baseball, think about parties and people being together,” Dahm said. “Last year, not having that opportunity, not only with Memorial Day, but with everything else — it was a special day.
“It gives you goosebumps when you’re out there and you hear the crowd — we’re getting back to a little bit of normal, which is good. Memorial Day is always special with the memory of all the people who’ve got us where we’re at.”
Clinton plays away at the Normal Cornbelters 6:35 p.m. Wednesday.