BURLINGTON – For the first time since 2016 the Clinton LumberKings are in the playoffs, clinching a berth with a 5-0 win over the Burlington Bees on Wednesday night at Community Field. Evan Edwards homered and the LumberKings (41-24) registered their eighth shutout win of the year to run a winning streak to five games.
“It’s a great feeling,” LumberKings manager Mike Jacobs said. “Any time you can get into the playoffs is a big accomplishment. The second half that we have had has been outstanding.”
Cole Duensing started for Burlington (27-38, 66-69) and cruised through his first three innings before Clinton scored the game’s first runs in the top of the fourth.
Torres led of the initial rally with an infield single and scored on a Davis Bradshaw RBI triple to right. Peyton Burdick followed with an RBI groundout to cap the rally.
As it would turn out, the runs would be enough to hang Duensing (6-7) with the loss. He worked five innings allowing three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out four.
The LumberKings also have a chance to improve upon their playoff seed with divisional title aspirations, pulling into a tie with Kane County atop the Midwest League West division after the Cougars dropped their game to Wisconsin.
“We have a chance to also win this division for the second half so that has to be our next goal,” Jacobs said. “Then, when the playoffs start, we just have to take it from there.”
Evan Edwards add a run for the LumberKings in the top of the fifth. He blasted a long home run to right that sailed into the trees for his eighth of the year and third over his last four games.
In the seventh, Clinton added the final runs of the night with their second two-run rally of the game. J.D. Osborne walked and scored two batters later on a Thomas Jones RBI triple. Samuel Castro then drove home Jones with a single to right.
Three Clinton pitchers; Alberto Guerrero, Raul Brito, and Nathan Alexander combined to shutout the Bees. Guerrero (9-6) earned the win for a six-inning performance. He allowed no runs on six hits while walking three and striking out five.
Alexander worked the final two innings, retiring Adrian Rondon on a flyout to left that clinched the LumberKings first playoff appearance since 2016.
The LumberKings will meet the Burlington Bees for the second game of their three-game series on Thursday night. Clinton will throw righty Remey Reed (3-3, 3.74) while Burlington will tap righty Keith Rogalla (1-1, 3.20). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (CDT). Fans looking to listen to the game can hear Erik Oas with the pregame show on 6:15 p.m. with the pregame show on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at lumberkings.com via the tunein radio app.
Playoff tickets will go on sale starting on Saturday with dates and times still pending.