Game Notes 6/9; Moran Power Drought, Series Win, & All-Stars
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Peoria Chiefs (A, Cardinals) for the second time this season. The LumberKings lead the all-time series 232–206, dating back to 1983, and trail against Peoria, 71–66, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings lost the first matchup with the Chiefs dropping two of a three game at Ashford University Field June 2–4.
LumberKings Starter: Brandon Miller, 21, makes his 12 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. With the quick turn around with the Peoria Chiefs, Miller’s last start came against the Chiefs. In the start, he took the loss snapping his four-game winning streak. Miller went five innings allowed two runs, on four hits, while walking one and striking out seven. The Pennsalvania native was the highest MLB Draft pick out of NCAA Division-II Millersvale University when the Seattle Mariners took him in the 2016 draft. Miller is in his second season of his professional career and has made it to the all-star game in each of his seasons. Last year Miller represented the Everett Aquasox of the Northwest League and was named to the 2017 Midwest League All-Star team along with Anthony Jimenez and Danny Garcia. The LumberKings home opening day starter currently leads the team in wins with 6, and innings pitched, 58.
Chiefs Starter: Ian Oaxnevad, 20, makes his 11 appearance and 10 start of the season for the Peoria Chiefs. The lefty’s last start came against the LumberKings. In the outing , he took the loss after working six innings surrendering four runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out four. Oxnevad has been stretched out this season, has worked seven innings or more three times this season, and thrown over 100 pitches twice this year. The majority of Oxnevad’s assignments have come on the road making seven of his ten outings away from home while also throwing 41 of his 57.1 IP on the road. He throws a fastball slider and changeup. The Cardinals went way over the draft signing bonus allotment to sign Oxnevad. Taking him in the 8th round in the 2015 MLB Draft and signing him for $500,000 as opposed to hi slot value of $167,400. The Washington state native signing with the Cardinals meant forging a commitment to Oregon State University. He was rated as the number two prospect in the state of Washington.
Last Time Out: The Clinton LumberKings won their first series since the middle of May knocking off the first-place Cedar Rapids Kernels 4–1 on Thursday night at Ashford University Field. Gareth Morgan ended a power slump and slugged his first home run in nearly a month to start the LumberKings (23–33) offense in the series finale. Robert Dugger made his third start of the year for the LumberKings and was in command throughout his five shutout innings of work. The Kernels (34–26) tallied just two hits of the Clinton right-hander who earned his second win of the season. Dugger (2–1) struck out four while walking just one and never allowed a Kernels runner to reach third. Clinton struggled at first against Kernels starter Domenick Carlini IV. The Cedar Rapids lefty set down the first five batters he faced and looked to be cruising through the second when he struck out the first two batters of the inning before pitching himself into trouble. Gareth Morgan then drove a 2–0 fastball off the scoreboard in left for the first run and hit of the game. The home run was Morgan’s fifth of the year and his first since hitting two home runs in Wisconsin on May 16. The LumberkIngs were not done in the second inning. Ryan Scott doubled to left on the very next pitch and scored when Nick Zammarelli floated a single into left field.
The Lead on His Own: Anthony Jimenez took over the lead in the Midwest League for stolen bases swiping two bags in Wednesday night’s win. His stolen base total is now 21 for the season one more than the Dayton Dragons Jose Siri with 20. Luis Rengifo stole his 19th base of the season on Wednesday night the third most in the league. The LumberKings have not had someone lead the league in stolen bases until, future Big leaguer, Art James led the league in 1973 with 48 stolen bases. The stretch without a leader for stolen bases in the league is the longest for the LumberKings among all the major offensive statistical categories.
A Long Time ‘A Comin: It took nearly a month but the Clinton LumbrKings won a series for just the fifth time this year. Clinton took two of three from the Cedar Rapids Kernels for their first series win since taking two of three from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers May 15–17.
Power Draught Over: Gareth Morgan became only LumberKing to homer twice in a game on May May 16th against Wisconsin, but since the banner day Morgan had gone homerless. The stretch without a long fly reached 14 games and 47 at-bats before Morgan clanked a home run off the scoreboard at Ashford University Field for his fifth home run of the season.
All-Stars: The Clinton LumberKings will be a well-represented team at this year’s Midwest League All-Star game in Midland Michigan. The coaching staff consisting of, Manager Pat Shine, Hitting Coach David Flores, Coach James Lofton, and Video Coordinator Tyler Collins, will be in Midland, Michigan as the Western All-Stars coaching staff. They will be joined by LHP Danny Garcia, RHP Brandon Miller, and OF Anthony Jimenez who have been named to the All-Star team. The three players selected to the ASG make 180 all-stars in franchise history going back to the Midwest League’s first all-star game in 1964.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1999, after being ejected in the 12th inning by plate umpire Randy Marsh for arguing a catcher’s interference call, Bobby Valentine returns to the dugout with a fake mustache and glasses. The National League will suspend the Mets’ manager for two games and fine him for using the disguise.
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.”