Sandoval’s blast, thefts, another move, & a rare defensive hiccup; Game Notes
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the South Bend Cubs (A, Cubs) for the first and only time this season with the second game of a three-game series. In the two teams’ only meeting, at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana in 2017 the LumberKings lost a three-game series, 1–2, featuring a 19-inning marathon that took two days to play as it was called due to curfew. The LumberKings trail the all-time series, dating back to 1988, 88 to 104. Since Clinton has been affiliated with the Seattle Mariners (2009) they trail the head-to-head matchups 14 games to 16.
LumberKings Starter: Tommy Romero, 20, makes his seventh start of the season for the LumberKings. The Flordia native bent but did not break in his last outing. Over four innings of work against the West Michigan Whitecaps, Romero issued a season high five walks while also surrendering six hits. Still he managed to work around most of the traffic on the base paths and allowed just one run to score against him during his time out. The LumberKings went on to beat the Whitecaps 8–7 in 10-innings. Romero has been one of the most consistent of the LumberKings starters this season and has only once allowed more then two runs in any of his previous six starts. He comes into this start with the fifth highest strikeout per nine innings ratio, 11.67, in the Midwest League. The Seattle Mariners took Romero in the 15th round of the 2017 MLB Draft and came into the 2018 season as the 25th ranked prospect in the Seattle Mariners system according to Baseball America.
South Bend Starter: Rollie Lacy, 22, makes his second start and eighth appearance of the season for the South Bend Cubs. He is coming off his first start of the season. A four-inning outing that came on the road against he Peoria Chiefs. In the start, Lacy was given a no decision, allowing two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out none. Lacy has served primarily in long relief this season and has twice worked four innings in relief to match the length of his starting debut last time out. Lacy was taken in the 11th round of the 2017 Draft by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Creighton, where he was teammates with former LumberKing David Gerber. Before earning a spot at Creighton, he lettered in both baseball and football at Holy Family Catholic High School. During his senior season in high school, 2013, he did not allow an earned run posting an 0.00 ERA while also batting .340. He redshirted his first year on campus in Creighton, during his true freshman campaign, the following season, he earned All-American honors and was named an All-Big East first team.
Last Time Out: An eighth inning home run by Ariel Sandoval was all the offense the Clinton LumberKings could muster in a 5–1 loss to the South Bend Cubs on Friday night at Four Winds Field. The Cubs (14–17) three-run first inning proved to be more than enough in a quite night for the LumberKings (18–13) at the plate. Nick Wells started for Clinton and struggled to throw strikes in his first inning out. In the bottom of the first the Cubs worked three walks off of Wells (2–2) and needed just one hit to chase home three runs and take a lead they would hold for the rest of the night. The Cubs then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning. The first three batters reached against Scott Boches, leading to two more runs that gave South Bend their largest lead of the night. The LumberKings did not go away quietly in the top of the ninth. Singles by Ryan Costello, Griefer Andrade, and Dimas Ojeda loaded the bases to bring the tying run to the plate. Glowicki then set down the LumberKings with a strikeout and flyout to earn his fourth save of the season.
But That Never Happens: Friday night’s loss to the South Bend Cubs saw an uncharacteristic night off for the Clinton LumberKings defense. This season, Clinton has gone 19 games without committing an error, but on Friday the LumberKings committed three errors one by Johnny Adams, Ryan Costello, and Scott Boches. It was the first time this season that Clinton has committed three errors or more in a game.
That’s One Way to Do It: The offense was largely a no show in the LumberKings 5–1 loss to the South Bend Cubs. The only run Clinton could muster against three Cubs pitchers came in the top of the eighth inning. Ariel Sandoval launched a solo home run to left for his sixth home run of the season. Despite being tied for the team lead in home runs, it marked his first home run to come on the road this season. The blast also ended a 0-for-13 skid that Sandoval had gone through at the plate, his longest stretch this season without a hit.
There They Go: Friday marked a new season high for the LumberKings in stolen bases with four. Johnny Adams swiped the first bag of the night, his third of the season, and was followed by steals from Billy Cooke, his sixth, Jack Larsen, his first of the year, and Joseph Rosa, his eighth of the season. None of the successful thefts lead to any runs for the LumberKings.
Second of the Month: Friday marked just the second time in the month of May that the LumberKings failed to have one of their players collect two hits or more in a game. They last failed to have a multi-hit game from anyone on May 1st in a 2–1 10-innings loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Ashford University Field. On the season, it marks the fifth time that the LumberKings failed to have anyone with a multi-hit game.
Roster Move, Again: Hours before the start of Friday night’s game, the LumberKings continued to move players around to help a beleaguered bullpen. They made their sixth roster move of the road trip with the release of left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson and the reassignment to Clinton of right-handed pitcher Marvin Gorgas. Gorgas was away for just one game before being returned to Clinton from Extended Spring Training.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1910, issuing just one walk, which spoils his bid for a perfect game, A’s right-hander Chief Bender, who is part Chippewa, throws a 4–0 no-hitter at Shibe Park against the Cleveland Naps (Indians). The home plate umpire is Bill Dinneen, who tossed a no-hit game against the White Sox playing with the Pilgrims (Red Sox) in 1905, making him the only person in big league history to both throw a no-hitter and call one as an umpire.
Broadcast Information: Erik Oas returns for his second season as the “voice” of LumberKings baseball. All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App.