CLINTON – The Clinton LumberKings hosted the Alton River Dragons on Monday night, falling late in a pitchers duel, 3-2.
Jack Dahm made his return to the LumberKing dugout for the first time in seven games as his team was riding a four game winning streak entering Monday.
Seth Clausen got the start for the LumberKings, starting things off with a strikeout to begin the game. Things quickly got away from Clausen, walking two batters and giving up a couple of singles that put the River Dragons in front 1-0. Clausen fought back with two strikeouts in a row to end the inning and limit the damage.
The offense was a little stagnant in the first inning, drawing a one out walk but striking out a pair of times as the LumberKings were unable to score.
Clausen settled down in the second inning despite giving up a leadoff single, retiring all three of the next batters to get out of the inning.
The LumberKings once again drew a one out walk in the bottom half of the second but they were unable to scrap together any hits, still trailing by one run.
Command became an issue in the top of the third for Clausen, walking two runners with one out. He got the next two runners out and escaped the inning.
Connor Giusti led off the third with single for the LumberKings. However, the bats continued to not produce as the LumberKings could not bring the runner around to score.
A one out double gave the River Dragons a runner in scoring position but the runner was caught stealing to end the inning as the LumberKings stayed locked in defensively.
The River Dragons led off the fifth with a triple to give themselves a great opportunity to score. A run came in to score on a controversial groundout went the LumberKings way but the River Dragons took a 2-0 lead.
Colton Huntt continued to dominate for the River Dragons as he struck out two more batters in the fifth inning to bring his total to nine. A two out walk to Giusti gave the LumberKings a base runner but Huntt got the River Dragons out of the inning.
Ben Beutel was in to pitch in relief for the LumberKings, walking the leadoff batter to start off the sixth inning. The base runner does not matter as the LumberKings work their way out of the inning and head to the bottom of the sixth down two.
Cade moss singled with one out in the sixth to give the LumberKings their second hit of the night. The River Dragons made a pitching change with two outs after Huntt exceeded one hundred pitches. The LumberKings were unable to score as the game went to the seventh 2-0.
Despite a base runner, the River Dragons were unable to get much going as Beutel began to settle in, striking out the final batter of the inning.
Joe Simpson singled with one out to get things started in the bottom half of the seventh. Simpson stole second base to give the LumberKings their second base runner in scoring position on the night.
Chase Becker drew a walk to give them two on with only one out. Simpson was caught stealing for the second out, erasing a baserunner for the LumberKings. The River Dragons escape the inning, maintaining their two run lead.
After a clean top of the eighth, the LumberKings were in business in the bottom half of the inning. A one out single and a walk gave the LumberKings a pair of baserunners before an error by the River Dragons brought in the first run of the game for the LumberKings. A hit by pitch loaded the bases before a sacrifice fly from Jeremy Conforti tied the game at two a piece.
Just as quickly as they tied the game, the LumberKings gave up a pair of hits to start the game before the go ahead run scored on an error by the second baseman. Despite having two on with nobody out, the LumberKings were able to salvage what could have been a dangerous inning, and head to the bottom of the ninth down 3-2.
The LumberKings went 1-2-3 to end the game and fall to the River Dragons, 3-2. The loss snapped their four game winning streak.