The Clinton LumberKings are heading back to the Midwest League Championship Series for the first time since 2010 after outlasting the Cedar Rapids Kernels in an epic 1-0 Game 3 that lasted 11 innings Monday.
It was a hard-fought battle to win the game, as pitchers for both teams exchanged zeros and got out of jams unscathed throughout the contest — until the bottom of the 11th inning, of course, when Ricky Eusebio delivered a walk-off RBI single with two on and two outs.
LumberKings starter Nick Neidert pitched seven innings, giving up only three hits and a wild pitch while striking out nine and walking none. Ronald Dominguez was the most efficient pitcher in the game — he threw one pitch to end the top of the 11th inning and then was credited with a victory after the LumberKings won in the bottom half.
The LumberKings will be seeking their first Midwest League championship title since 1991. Clinton also won the MWL championship in 1963, when the team’s nickname was the C-Sox.
Clinton will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Great Lakes Loons. The Whitecaps forced a decisive Game 3 in the Eastern Division finals by beating the Loons 5-3 Monday. Will Allen went 3-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI for the Whitecaps.
The Loons are looking to advance to their first Midwest League Championship Series. The Whitecaps won their sixth league championship last year.