Game notes 6/23; Bats to avoid, protecting home, & a thin outfield
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Beloit Snappers (A, Athletics) for the fifth time this season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 216–252, dating back to 1982, and trail against Beloit, 73–75, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumbrKings have won all six of the contests with Beloit at home this year sweeping the Snappers in three games April 10–12 and again June 13–15, they are Clinton’s only sweeps thus far this season. Beloit has defened their home turf as well and are 5–1 against Clinton at Harry C. Pohlman Filed this season.
LumberKings Starter: Ljay Newsome, 20, makes his 14 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The LumberKings opening day starter is making his third start since being activated from the disabled list with a mild achilleas strain. His last start was a strong one against Beloit in which he gave up one run over five innings walking one and striking out two. He needed just 66 pitches to get through his five innings. A Maryland native, Newsome once led the Midwest League in wins with four but is currently in the midst of five game losing streak, last having won a game on April 27 against the Quad Cities River Bandits. The righty comes into this assignment with league’s third lowest BB/9 IP ratio among starters in the Midwest League.
Snappers Starter: Matt Milburn, 23, makes his 15appearance and ninth start of the season for the Beloit Snappers. A Dallas Texas native makes his second start and third appearance of the season against the Clinton LumberKings. His last outing was a start at Ashford University Field in which he was given a no decision for his five innings of work allowing three runs on four hits while walking three and striking out six, and allowed the inside the park home run to Nick Thurman. Milburn was taken by the Oakland Athletics in the 29th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Wofford College. He was on the radar of several Major League teams after leading the Southern Conference in strikeouts, 103, and was fourth in the conference in innings pitched, 98.2. By the time he left Wofford he held the school records for strikeouts, 307, and is second in wins with, 23. He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and is cousins with Chris Schroder who played with the Washington Nationals from 2006–08.
Last Time Out: It took a come from behind win but the Clinton LumberKings started the second half of the Midwest League with 6–2 triumph over the Beloit Snappers on Thursday night at Ashford University. The LumberKings (1–0, 32–36) rode a four-run fourth inning to their seventh straight win over Beloit (01, 32–28) in Clinton this season. Clinton fell behind early, allowing single runs to score in the top of the second and third innings. Snappers center fielder JaVon Shelby pushed the first run of the game across with an RBI double in the second. Kyle Nowlin drove home the second and final run of the game for Beloit with an RBI single to left. Trailing 2–0, the LumberKings could not muster a base runner through the first three innings against Snappers starter Kyle Twomey. In the bottom of the fourth, Luis Rengifo led-off with Clinton’s first hit of the night a solo home run to left center field. His sixth home run of the season.
Not In Our House: The Clinton LumberKings have played the Snappers tough this season at Ashford University Field, having won all seven of the meetings in Clinton and running their winings streak against Beloit to four games. The LumberKings won six straight meeting with the Snappers June 11-August 9 of 2016 and Beloit has not win in Clinton since they bested Nick Neidert 4–1 on June 10. The LumberKings winning streak at home against Beloit is now 10 games.
A Thin Outfield: The current roster make up for the Clinton LumberKings is a bit odd to look at. The team is carrying three catchers and just three outfielders. That situation was made a little more difficult when Anthony Jimenez was scratched from the lineup yesterday forcing Clinton to put Gareth Morgan in center, for just the second time this season, and Luis Rengifo in right for the first time this year. Rengifo, although listed as an infielder, has made several starts in left this season.
Managerial Debut: David Macias managed his first game ever on Thursday night. The Vanderbilt product who played professionally in the for the Chicago Cubs including two stints with the Peoria Chiefs in the Midwest League earned the win in his debut with the LumberKings 6–2 triumph over Beloit.
LumberKings Killers: LumberKings pitching has been plagued by the power bats of the Beloit Snappers, Miguel Mercedes and Collin Theroux. Mercedes, who has slugged 11 home runs this season, has hit three of his home runs against Clinton. While Collin Theroux has hit 10 home runs this season with four of them against LumberKings pitching.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1917, Boston pitcher Babe Ruth starts against Washington. He walks leadoff man Eddie Foster, griping to plate umpire Brick Owens after each pitch. On ball four, Ruth plants a right to the umpire’s jaw. He is ejected, and Ernie Shore relieves. Foster is caught stealing, and Shore retires all 26 men he faces in a 4–0 win, getting credit in the books for a perfect game.
Broadcast Information: All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App with the Erik Oas, in his first season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”