5/8/2014 12:58 A.M. ET
LumberKings erase 16-run deficit in victory
Justin Seager puts Mariners' Class A affiliate ahead to stay in 12th
By Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
After falling behind 16 runs in the fifth inning Wednesday, Mariners Class A affiliate Clinton scored 19 unanswered runs to come back and defeat the Burlington Bees, 20-17, in 12 innings.
The LumberKings were trailing 17-1 when they began their comeback against the Angels' affiliate with six runs in the sixth inning. They added five more runs in both the eighth and ninth to send the game to extra innings. There, they scored three runs in the 12th to take their only lead of the night.
Designated hitter Justin Seager, the younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th. Second baseman Lonnie Kappuila followed with a two-run single to give Clinton some breathing room.
Those insurance runs would be especially important for Kappuila, who was called on to pitch in the bottom of the 12th against. He retired the Bees in order in his first pitching appearance since high school to complete the comeback and earn a save.
"Being up by one and knowing I was going to have to pitch when I haven't pitched in five years, I really wanted to get us some extra runs," Kappuila told MiLB.com. "I was really glad that I was able to get that hit."
It was the second big comeback in less than a week for Clinton, which overcame an eight-run deficit on Saturday, scoring five times with two outs in the ninth inning to beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 16-13.
"That is a crazy win. I've never been a part of something like that. The closest thing is four days ago," LumberKings manager Scott Steinmann told MiLB.com. "[Another comeback] says a lot. They weren't giving up. They stayed in it the whole time.
"I tell them to keep competing and have professional at-bats, and I just stay out of the way and let them do it. That's all them," Steinmann said. "We start to string together a couple of little hits in the sixth, and you could kind of feel it turning. That's when it was really exciting."
The LumberKings pounded out 22 hits in the victory. Seager and center fielder Ian Miller had four hits and three runs apiece. Left fielder Tyler O'Neill, the Mariners' No. 19 prospect, went 1-for-6 with a double and two runs.