Game Notes 7/29; Last Dance with CR, Quevedo’s Patter, Morgan’s Series, & Rengifo’s Adds Another
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Cedar Rapids Kernels (A, Twins) for the fifth and final time during the 2017 season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 430–458, dating back to 1962, and trail against Cedar Rapids 66–80, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings spilt the first meeting of the season in Cedar Rapids May 22–25 and then took two of three in Ashford University Field June 6–8. In their last two meetings the LumberKings lost three of four in Cedar Rapids and in Clinton in their last meeting June 30-July 3.
LumberKings Starter: Nick Wells, 21, makes his 18 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Alexandria, Virginia native is coming off a win his last time out. He earned the win despite allowing five runs in five innings of work, walking none and striking out seven. In the start, Wells was backed by the biggest LumberKings power surge of the season. The team hit a season high five home runs to drop the Lake County Captains in the LumberKings only win of the series. This will be Wells third start of the season against the Kernels he took the loss in first meeting with the Kernels at Ashford University Field and was given a no decision when he faced the Kernels on June 16 in Cedar Rapids. In his 11.2 innings of work against the he has allowed a Jermaine Palacios home run. The loss to the Kernels in Clinton was to a fellow “Wells” Tyler Wells, no relation, who is no longer pitching with the Kernels.
Kernels Starter: Clark Beeker, 24, makes his 18 appearance and start of the season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The North Carolina native earned the win his last time out for a six-inning outing against the Lansing Lugnuts in Cedar Rapids. He allowed no runs while surrendering four hits walking none and striking out three. This will be his third start of the season against the LumberKings he has taken a no decision in each of the previous outing against Clinton working six innings each time. Beeker attended Davidson following high school. Had Tommy John surgery his sophomore year of college which he cites as a blessing, allowing him to red shirt and come back for a fifth year to be drafted. Believes his biggest strength is getting ahead in counts and throws a fastball, slider, curveball, and a changeup.
Last Time Out: Yojhan Quevedo, for the fourth time this season, was the walk-off hero for the Clinton LumberKings in a 6–5 10 inning win over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Friday night at Ashford University Field. Quevedo lined the game winning hit over River Bandits (21–13, 58–44) centerfielder Daz Cameron with two out in the 10th to give the LumberKings (14–20, 45–56) the series win. Quad Cities raced out to a 1–0 lead in the top of the first inning. LumberKings starter Steven Ridings, making his home debut, gave up three straight hits to start the game. Chuckie Robinson chased home the game’s first run with a double to left. In the bottom of the first inning, Clinton tied and then took the lead. Eight LumberKings came to the plate in the inning to score two runs. Nick Zammarelli collected the first of his four hits to bring home Bryson Brigman with an RBI single to left. Dimas Ojeda gave the LumberKings their first lead of the night when he drew a bases loaded walk against River Bandits starter Cristian Javier. The game then see-sawed back and forth. Quad Cites tied the game in the second and Clinton reclaimed their lead in the bottom of the third on a Gareth Morgan two-run home run, his 10th of the season.
Western Divison Swan Song: The LumberKings meet the Kernels for the final time during the 2017 season. The LumberKings just concluded a three-game series with the Quad Cities River Bandits which was the final meeting with them for 2017. With more than a month to play the LumberKings will not play Cedar Rapids or Quad Cities again until 2018.
A Pattern: Yojhan Quevedo has been the guy for walk-off wins for the LumberKings this season his two 10th inning single with the bases loaded on Friday night was the fourth time this season that Quevedo has been responsible for a walk-off win. Quevedo has admitted that before this season he had never had a walk-off and now had four. Clinton has had just five walk-offs this year, Quevedo with the lions share.
Organizational Leader: Luis Rengifo ranks tied for third in the Midwest League leader for stolen bases with 27. The LumberKings speedster ranks even higher in the Mariners farm system when it comes to stolen bases. Coming into Saturday’s game he has the second most steals in the Mariners organization, trailing only Ian Miller of the Tacoma Rainiers who has 31.
Some Start: Gareth Morgan put together one of the more impressive streaks together by a LumberKings this season. Through his first nine plate appearnaces of the series with the River Bandits he was not retired going 5-for-5 with four walks, including a home run, four RBI, and a stolen base. Over the last five games he is batting .455 (5/11) by far the highest on the team during the stretch.
The Century Mark: The completion of Thursday night’s doubleheader makes it 100 games played by the LumberKings this season. The teams 44–56 record through 100 games pales in comparison to the 61–39 mark the 2016 LumberKings had on their way to setting a franchise record for wins. The best record in club history 100 games through the season was 68–32 set by the 1963 team.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1969, Major League Baseball proclaims Joe DiMaggio as its greatest living player, a title the Yankee Clipper will proudly embrace until his death in 1999. The determination was made by sportswriters in a poll conducted to coincide with the centennial of professional baseball.
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.”