Cardiac Kings Win on Franklin Walk-Off Shot
Nick Franklin belts solo homer in 10th, LumberKings edge Burlington 4-3
Clinton, IA – The “Cardiac Kings” did it again on Tuesday night at Alliant Energy Field, rebounding from watching their three-run lead disappear in the ninth to win in walk-off fashion, 4-3 over the Burlington Bees in 10 innings. Clinton’s third walk-off home run of the year was the difference, this time coming from the bat of Nick Franklin.
Leading off the bottom of the 10th with a 3-3 score, Franklin crushed a Brendan Lafferty pitch over the wood wall in left-center for his third clout with Clinton, his first walk-off. Franklin (2-for-4, RBI) was mobbed by teammates at the plate as he became the second LumberKing to deliver a walk-off homer, joining Kalian Sams (twice, April 9 vs. Peoria and April 16 vs. Quad Cities).
The LumberKings built a 3-0 lead thanks in part to a Sams’ RBI double in the fourth, but could not hold it in the ninth. Right-hander Daniel Cooper (H, 1) yielded back-to-back doubles for a Burlington run and left the bases loaded for closer Brandon Josselyn. Josselyn couldn’t shut the door, issuing a bases-loaded walk and a game-tying single to Joey Lewis.
Right-hander John Housey worked out of a jam in the 10th to keep the game tied, leaving runners at second and third as he fanned Hilton Richardson. Housey (W, 2-0) struck out three over his inning of work.
Clinton starter Tyler Blandford enjoyed his best professional start, striking out a career-high eight batters over 5.0 scoreless innings. Righty Chris Kirkland (H, 1) also turned in 2.1 scoreless frames before Burlington was able to score a run.
Burlington starter Tyler Sample gave up three runs, two earned on six hits over 5.2 innings. Lafferty (L, 1-1) allowed one run on two hits over the final 3.1 innings.
Dennis Raben went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored to lead all hitters. Richardson (2-for-6) and Rene Oriental (2-for-5) led the attack for Burlington.
The LumberKings (6-7) continue the series against Burlington (3-10) tomorrow night, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM. Left-hander Jon Hesketh (0-1, 17.18) makes his third start of the season against the Bees. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN or online at www.lumberkings.com.