Midwest League’s Clinton LumberKings Rally for Win After Trailing by 16 Runs [Audio]
There hasn’t been this kind of magic on an Iowa baseball field since ‘Field of Dreams.’
The Clinton LumberKings, the Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, came back from a 16-run deficit to defeat Burlington Bees, 20-17, in 12 innings on Wednesday night in Burlington, Iowa.
The Bees, who are affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels, looked like they would coast to an easy victory when they were up 17-1 after five innings. Clinton, though, struck with a six-run 6th inning and then plated five runs apiece in the 8th and 9th before finishing off the miracle with a three-run 12th inning.
The LumberKings were out of pitchers when the bottom of the 12th rolled around, so second baseman Lonnie Kauppila — who hadn’t pitched in five years — took the mound and picked up the unlikely save.
Amazingly, there were only five home runs in the game, including a game-tying grand slam in the top of the 9th to send the game into extra innings. The game was not televised, but it was on radio. You can hear some of the highlights below, including the aforementioned grand slam around the 9:20 mark.
The LumberKings are making comebacks the hallmark of their season. Last week, they clawed their way back to win after being down by eight runs by scoring five runs with two outs in the 9th to beat Wisconsin, 16-13.
It’s been a crazy week for minor league baseball in Iowa. Earlier this week, the Iowa Cubs’ Chris Rusin tossed a no-hitter at New Orleans, thanks in part to a brilliant game-ending catch by Matt Szczur.