Game notes 8/30; Playoff chances fade, Viehoff adds to streak, & Trend Setters
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Kane County Cougars (A, Brewers) for the fourth and final time during the 2017 season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 163–173, dating back to 1991, and trail against Kane County, 62–70, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings opened the season against the Cougars and dropped the first four games, two in Kane County and two in Clinton. The teams did not meet again till June 26–29 when the LumberKings dropped three of four in Kane County. The LumberKings then took three of four from Kane County in the team’s last meetings August14–17. The series ended with a Gareth Morgan walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth on August 17.
LumberKings Starter: Nick Wells, 21, makes his 24 appearance and start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Virginia native, last faced the Burlington Bees in Burlington and was given a no decision for a 4.2 inning outing in which he allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits, while walking two and striking out three. Despite being roughed up in the start, the LumberKings would stage a dramatic ninth inning comeback, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth inning to win 7–5. Wells has not made it through five innings in his last two innings, last making it through five when he Kane County Cougars on August 14 in Clinton. Wells lasted six innings in the start but was given a no decision. Wells has worked exclusively out of the LumberKings rotation this year and has been with Clinton since opening day. Minus a brief stint on the disabled list, with lower back tightness, Wells has been in the starting rotation for since the beginning of the season. Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 2014 MLB Draft Wells was traded into the Mariners farm system on July 31, 2015 in a four-player trade that sent RHP Mark Lowe.
Cougars Starter: Max Lemieux, 20, makes his 19 appearance and start of the season for the Kane County Cougars. The Tequesta Florida native, received a no decision for his last start. He worked six innings against the Cedar Rapids Kernels allowing three runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out six. This will be his third start of the season against the Clinton LumberKings in each of his previous two starts against them he has taken a no decision. Lemieux was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Palm Beach State College. Following his first professional season with the Hillsboro Hops he donated $500 to his alma mater at Palm Beach State Panthers Baseball. He was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals out of High School in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He is a distant cousin of hockey legend Mario Lemieux.
Last Time Out: For the third straight game the Clinton LumberKings managed just one run, falling to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6–1 on Monday night at Ashford University Field. The loss puts the LumberKings (30–34, 61–70) four games back of the wild card leading Peoria Chiefs with six games left to play. Steven Ridings started for Clinton and threw the ball well over his five plus innings of work. Through the first four innings, all Wisconsin (29–35, 55–77) had to show for their time at the plate was a Dallas Carroll solo home run in the top of the fourth inning. Carroll’s home run was his third of the season. The homer scored the game’s first run and put the Timber Rattlers on top for good. Ridings (1–3) would work into the sixth inning but fail to record an out in the top of the sixth. The two runners that reached against him in the inning would score on a Demi Orimoloye two-run single to center that gave the Timber Rattlers a 3–0 lead.
So you’re saying there’s a chance: Monday’s loss to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers was one of great significance to the Clinton LumberKings. They dropped behind the Beloit Snappers in the standings and equally important lost a game to the Peoria Chiefs in the wild card race. The LumberKings are now four games back with sic games left to play, with the Chiefs owning the tie breaker.
V for Viehoff: Tim Viehoff was the final pitcher of the game used by the LumberKings in their 6–1 loss to the Timber Rattlers on Monday night. He faced just one batter and retired him to end the top of the ninth inning. The out stretched Viehoff’s streak to 20 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. The stretch is longest active streak among LumberKings pitchers.
Trend setters: When the Clinton LumberKings last welcomed in the Kane County Cougars to Ashford University Field August 14–17 the Cougars were one of the hottest teams in the Midwest League. Kane County had yet to loss as series in the month of August until the LumberKings took three of four. Since then, Kane County has not won a series, being swept in four games by the Burlington Bees, losing two of three to Cedar Rapids, and dropping three of four with the Peoria Chiefs.
Home Sweet home: The Clinton LumberKings welcome in the Kane County Cougars for the final home series of the season. Despite never spending a day over .500 this season the LumberKings have played well at home and are 32–31 at Ashford University Field this season.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1905, Ty Cobb makes his major league debut, doubling off Jack Chesbro, as Detroit defeats New York 5–3. The double is the first of his 4,189 hits, a record topped by Pete Rose in 1985.
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.”