King Clinch, Franklin Belts #23
And all is right in LumberKing-land. Despite their third-straight loss (6-4 at the hands of Burlington today), the LumberKings are back in the Midwest League Playoffs as the West Division Wild Card. Clinton’s date with Cedar Rapids in the West Division Quarterfinals was secured today not by a Kings’ victory, but rather a 13-5 win by the Kernels that eliminated any chance for Beloit to catch up.
Unlike the previous night, there was actually bright spots to talk about in the loss for the Kings. The brightest was Nick Franklin, whose wall-scraping opposite-field homer to left put Clinton ahead 1-0 in the first inning. That blast was Franklin’s league-leading 23rd of the year and also puts him in a category by himself as Clinton’s best single-season home run hitter. He had tied former C-Sox second-baseman Dick Kenworthy’s 49-year-old record on the last homestand and now holds the spot all to himself.
Franklin 23rd HR (Franchise Record) 9.5.10.mp3
You can hear by the tone of my voice how surprising a home run it was. It barely got out over the short wall in left.
Unfortunately, that home run would not be enough to get right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and the LumberKings a win. Burlington spoiled a 4-3 lead on Whit Merrifield’s seventh-inning two-run homer and ran away with the 6-4 victory. Clinton finishes up the regular season in Burlington tomorrow at 2:00 PM (starting pitcher now TBA) before returning home for an off-day on Tuesday and then gearing up for game one against the Kernels on Wednesday night.
You can begin ordering your playoff tickets starting Tuesday at 10:00 AM by calling the LumberKings at 563-242-0727. I’ve already got my seat picked out in the home broadcast booth. Hope to see you there.