Game Notes 7/26; Starting trouble, Rengifo’s speed, & Quevedo’s numbers
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Quad Cities River Bandit (A, Astros) for the fourth and final time during the 2017 season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 410–450, dating back to 1963, and trail against Quad Cities 68–70, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings spilt the first meeting of the season in Quad Cities April 20–23 and then traded a pair of blow out wins in a rained shortened two-game series in Clinton April 27–30. In the team’s last meeting the LumberKings dropped three of four to the River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park.
LumberKings Starter: Ljay Newsome, 20, makes his 18 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Maryland native took the win his first time for the first time since April 27. In his last start against the Fort Wayne TinCaps Newsome worked six innings allowing four hits while walking none and striking out five. The LumberKings opening day starter has had two separate stints on the disabled list this season. Following his win against the TinCaps Newsome owned the longest losing streak of the season by a LumberKings pitcher, seven games. The Seattle Mariners took Newsome in the 26th round out of Chopticon High School where he helped to lead them to a Maryland State 3A Championship. One of the stingiest pitchers in the Midwest Leagues when it comes to issuing walks. Newsome ranks fourth in the league for lowest walks per nine innings averaging 1.56 walks for every nine innings pitched.
River Bandits Starter: Carson LaRue, 21, makes his 18 appearance and 13 start of the season for the Quad Cities River Bandits. The Dewey, Oklahoma native took the win his last time out against the Lansing Lugnuts for a five-inning outing in which he aloowed no runs on two hits while walking two and striking out two. Pitched collegiately at Oklahoma State before transferring to Cowley College, a Junior College that made it all the way to the JUCO World Series with LaRue’s help. He was named an All-American while pitching for the Cowley Tigers. In High School threw three no-hitters. His father played baseball at Kansas in College and then went on to play in the minor leagues. A big Michael Jordan, he lists him as his favorite athlete and Space Jam as his favorite movie.
Last Time Out: In a game that featured 27 total hits the Clinton LumberKings late charge came up short in an 8–6 loss to the Lake County Captains on Monday night at Classic Park. Joe Rizzo stood out at the plate for Clinton (12–19, 43–55) with a 3-for-5 night that included a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. In the top of the first inning, the LumberKings grabbed their only lead of the night. Brady Aiken started for Lake County (15–15, 43–57) and after setting down the first two men he faced allowed a Rizzo home run to right, his second of the series, that went for the first of 27 hits in the game for both teams. The lead did not hold up for LumberKings starter Danny Garcia (4–8). In the bottom of the first inning, the Captains tied the game with back-to-back doubles from Luke Wakamatsu and Miguel Eladio. Emmanuel Tapia then capped the rally with his second home run of the series, a two-run homer to center that was his Midwest League leading 22nd of the year. The Captains led for good following the first. Logan Ice led off with a solo home run to right off Garcia (6–8) in the third inning and Lake County scored one in the fourth, two in the fifth and once more in the sixth.
Starting Trouble: The Clinton LumberKings return home following a 2–4 road trip where the starting rotation continued to struggle. Starting pitching allowed eight first inning runs over the six-game trip and the starting rotation ERA has now soared to 5.21 for the season.
Rengifo’s Speed: Luis Rengifo added two stolen bases to his season total during the three-game series in Lake County. The LumberKings speedy utility man now has 26 stolen bases on the year three back of Jose Siri of the Dayton Dragons for the Midwest League lead. Rengifo currently has the fourth most steals in the Midwest League.
Strikeout Piling Up: Gareth Morgan has been one of the LumberKings power hitters this season but it has come with many strikeouts. Entering the three-game series with the Quad Cities River Bandits he has struck out 119 times, the fourth most in the Midwest League.
Home Cooking: Yojhan Quevedo has enjoyed some of his greatest success this season at home where he is hitting .328 (39/119) the highest home average by a LumberKing this season. On the road Quevedo is hitting .248 (31/125).
Walking to New Highs: Yojhan Quevedo set a new professional career high for walks during Monday’s loss to the Lake County Captains. The LumberKings cleanup hitter drew three walks the most in any game of his professional career that goes back to 2011.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1991, Mark Gardner no-hits the Dodgers for nine innings, but Los Angeles wins the game in the bottom of the tenth on two singles off the Expos’ starter and Darryl Strawberry’s RBI single off reliever Jeff Fassero. It’s the first time the Dodgers had been held hitless at home for nine innings since Johnny Vander Meer’s second straight no-hitter in 1938.
Broadcast Information: All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App with Erik Oas, in his first season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”