You see all kinds of crazy stuff in Minor League Baseball. But what happened on Wednesday night in Burlington, Iowa may take the cake. This was one of the wildest baseball games ever, and only 558 people were at Community Field to see it.
The Burlington Bees (Angels affiliate) hosted the Clinton Lumber Kings (Mariners affiliate) last night, and Burlington immediately went on the offensive. Through two innings, it’ was already 7-0. After five, it was a 17-1 ballgame and Clinton was on their third pitcher of the night. But then…something happened. The roles were reversed, and Clinton started putting runs on the board while Burlington twiddled their thumbs.
In the sixth, the Lumber Kings plated six runs to make it a 17-7 game, chasing starter Garrett Nuss from the game. After a scoreless seventh, Clinton’s offense exploded again, scoring five runs to make it 17-12. In the ninth, Ben Carlson came in to finish the game off for Burlington, but couldn’t. He struggled in the inning, loading the bases with one out before being replaced by Alan Busewitz, who promptly allowed a game-tying grand slam to Marcus Littlewood. Burlington couldn’t win the game in the bottom of the inning, and we went into extras.
In the 12th inning, Clinton finally pulled ahead, scoring three runs, capped off with an RBI single by second baseman Lonnie Kauppila. To finish the game off, Lumber Kings manager Scott Steinmann sent Kauppila to the hill. Of course, he threw a 1-2-3 inning (as a position player, mind you) to end the game and give Clinton a wacky, wild win.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers from this contest. After scoring 17 runs on ten hits in the first five innings of the game, Burlington was held scoreless over the final seven innings, and tallied just two hits. On the other hand, after scoring just one run on two hits in the first five innings of the game, Clinton scored 19 runs on 20 hits in the final seven innings. Burlington hit just one homer, while Clinton hit three – each team hit one grand slam. Two starters for either team went hitless – Exicardo Cayones and Ismael Dionicio, both of the Bees. Kauppila, the second baseman who ended up getting the save in this game, had never pitched in the minors before last night.
You know what, just look at the box score for this game. It’s insane, and needs to be seen to be believed. But perhaps the craziest note is this: this isn’t even Clinton’s first big comeback of the week. On Saturday, they trailed the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 12-4 after five before coming back to win 16-13.