Even though I passed up the chance to see a doubleheader at Modern Woodmen Park, I still got to see 14 innings of Midwest League baseball Sunday. That’s because the game I attended at Ashford University Field lasted 14 innings, with the Clinton LumberKings edging the Kane County Cougars 2-1.
The pitchers duel involved seven hurlers — four for the Cougars and three for the LumberKings. Cougars SP Tyler Skulina gave up a run in the 1st inning, LumberKings SP Jose Flores gave up a run in the 6th inning, and Cougars RP Gerardo Concepcion gave up the decisive run with one out in the bottom of the 14th inning.
Jen-Ho Tseng was the scheduled starting pitcher for the Cougars, but was moved to the bullpen shortly before game time. The late scratch was a bummer because I wanted to see Tseng pitch, and initially I didn’t know I’d get to see him come in from the bullpen later.
Tseng ended up pitching the 7th through 11th innings, giving up only one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. The walk he issued, to LumberKings 2B Lonnie Kauppila, was only his 8th one in 55.1 IP this season.
Unfortunately for me, my camera battery died soon after Tseng entered the game, so the only shot I got of him pitching is this “bigger picture” shot with LumberKings C Marcus Littlewood batting.
The game-winning hit came off the bat of LumberKings 3B Martin Peguero, who singled with the bases loaded.
It was fitting that the game lasted 14 innings because, as noted in the LumberKings’ game story, Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the longest game in Midwest League history, and Clinton was one of the teams involved. That game, a 25-inning contest that lasted 7 hours and 37 minutes, was won 4-3 by the Waterloo Diamonds. (Only 19 innings were played on July 6, in Waterloo; the game was completed on August 17, in Clinton.)
One more note: That Quad Cities doubleheader I passed up to go to Clinton? The River Bandits won the second game on a walk-off grand slam by RF Brett Phillips. Between missing that exciting moment and my camera battery dying when Tseng came in to pitch, Sunday wasn’t my best day when it came to luck. (And you can add me having to drive part of the way home in a torrential downpour to that list.)
Oh, well — in life, as in baseball, you can’t win them all.
*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler