Game Notes 5/28; Milestone Strikeout, Money Hits, & the First of His Kind
Today’s Preview: The LumberKings (A, Marlins) are back on the road for a brief three-game trip with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A, Brewers). This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams with the LumberKings sweeping Wisconsin in three games when they met in Clinton April 18th through the 20th. The sweep is still the only one of the season for the LumberKings. The two teams have been playing each other since 1963 with Wisconsin leading the all-time head-to-head meetings 315 games to 374.
LumberKings Starter: Alberto Guerrero, 21, makes his ninth appearance and seventh start of the year with the LumberKings. The Panama native worked just one inning his last time out before rains in Beloit forced a suspension at Harry Pohlman Field. In his one inning out he allowed no runs while walking one and striking out none. This will be Guerrero’s first appearance against the Burlington Bees this season. He was signed on July 3rd, 2014 as an international free agent and began his professional career a year later in 2015 with the DSL Marlins. Guerrero spent last season in Batavia and went 3–6 with a 3.49 ERA and 69.2 innings of work. He entered this season with four seasons of professional baseball experience and a 10–15 with a 3.14 ERA with 200.2 innings of work. This will be his third appearance during a day game — a scenario where he has thrived. Over 11 innings of work in the day light he is 1–0 with a 0.82 ERA.
Timber Rattlers Starter: Reese Olson, 19, makes his 10th appearance and sixth start of the season for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. The Greenville, Georgia native was given the loss his last time out for a two-inning outing against the Peoria Chiefs at Dozer Park. He allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits while walking one and striking out one. Over his last three outings, Olson has worked exclusively as a starter and has been hit hard — allowing 14 runs over just 9.1 innings. As a reliever this year he is 1–0 with a 2.63 ERA while as a he starter he is 0–3 with a 9.33 ERA. This will be his second outing of the year against Clinton. He faced the LumberKings in relief on April 18th and was given a no decision for four innings of work in which he allowed two runs on five hits while walking none and striking out two. Both of the runs he surrendered came on home runs — one by Demetrius Sims and one by Ricardo Cespedes. The Milwaukee Brewers took Olson in the 13th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of North Hall High School in Greensboro.
First of His Kind: Sean Reynolds will always be a player with a large amount of strikeouts. Sunday afternoon was the sixth time this season that he has struck out four times in a game. His first strikeout on Sunday was his 100th of the year making him the first player in professional baseball in 2019 to strikeout 100 times. Reynolds enters the series finale with Burlington with 103 strikeouts.
Money Hits: At times the LumberKings offense has been stalled by a lack of hits with men in scoring position. Jerar Encarnacion is an exception and comes into the series final with a .345 average with men in scoring position and an even higher .448 batting average with runner sin scoring position and two men out.
Century Mark: Three runs were enough for the Clinton LumberKings on Sunday afternoon against the Bees as they held on for a 3–2 win. The runs give the LumberKings 99 runs at home over 24 games with their next marking their 100th. On the road Clinton has scored 111 times in 25 games.
Where Did the Hits Go: The LumberKings over their last five games have gone 3–2 in spite of an offense that has struggled to find hits. Over the last five games, Clinton is batting .204 as a team with only five players boasting averages over .200 in that times; Jerar Encarnacion (.316), J.D. Osborne (.250), Connor Scott (.211), Demetrius Sims (.333), and Christopher Torres (.278).
Milestone Strikeout: Three pitchers for Clinton on Saturday night combined to strikeout 12 Burlington Bees batters. Humberto Mejia fanned nine over his seven innings, Cam Baird struck out two in the eighth, and C.J. Carter added the final strikeout of the night in the ninth. It marked the 20th time this season that Clinton pitching has struck out 10 or more batters in a game.
This Date in Baseball History: On this date in 1968, the American League votes to divide itself into two divisions and plans to reduce its schedule to 156 games. The Junior Circuit, however, will reconsider and will continue to play a schedule of 162 contests.
Broadcast Information: All Clinton LumberKings games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via TuneIn Radio App with the Erik Oas, in his third season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”