LumberKings Manage Remarkable 16-Run Comeback Win, Score 19 Unanswered Runs

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterMay 8, 2014


The fat lady remained relatively silent on Wednesday night, possibly just to see the Seattle Mariners' Class A affiliate erase an astonishing 16-run deficit to win its game in 12 innings. 

Always play to the last out.'s Teddy Cahill (h/t The Other Paper) reports on a game that, well, wasn't quite a pitcher's duel, featuring a come-from-behind win some of these players will never forget. 

According to the report, the Clinton LumberKings—the Mariners' affiliate—found themselves in quite the hole early in the game, falling behind 17-1 to the Burlington Bees, the Los Angeles Angels' affiliate. 

The aptly named LumberKings then began chopping away at the massive deficit an inch at a time, scoring six in the sixth inning and then adding five in the eighth and the ninth, tying the game and dropping jaws along with it. 

The game would go 12 innings, seeing the LumberKings drop a three spot in the 12th when Justin Seager—the younger brother to the Mariners' Kyle Seager—brought in the go-ahead run. 

And that, friends, is why this game without a clock can be so damn fantastic. Unless, of course, you happen to be a minor league pitcher tasked with performing on what we presume resembled a bullpen carousel. 

Now Clinton may have to change its name to the Comeback Kids, because the team reportedly overcame an eight-run deficit earlier in the week as well. 

LumberKings manager Scott Steinmann spoke with's Josh Jackson on just that: "That is a crazy win. I've never been a part of something like that. The closest thing is four days ago. [Another comeback] says a lot. They weren't giving up. They stayed in it the whole time."

Lonnie Kauppila played a major role at the end of the game. The second baseman not only drove in two runs in the 12th, but he pitched the bottom of the inning, taking the bump for the first time in five years. 

Kauppila had this to say on the runs he drove in: "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. I was really glad that I was able to get that hit." 

As for pitching, Kauppila offered, "I just wanted to throw strikes. After the first guy, I pretty much knew they were taking first-pitch strikes. I just had to continue to throw strikes after that. I knew our defense could pretty much catch anything, so I was pretty confident."

Yahoo Sports' Mark Townsend chimes in on this marvelous story with some rather wonderful tidbits.

It seems the outrageous number of runs falls short of a record, losing out to what had to be a relatively ho-hum affair: "The 37 combined runs was not a Midwest League record. On August 29, 1956, the Dubuque Packers defeated Paris Lakers 36-12."

Townsend reports that despite all of the runs, the game was a swift three hours and 28 minutes—well, swift for a 12-inning game that features 37 runs. 

Now we hope this finds younger baseball fans and players, lending one of the more obvious baseball lessons: The game isn't over until the final out. 

We have seen this play out before, showing up in dramatic form in a 2006 MLB regular-season game, one that saw the Dodgers launch four consecutive home runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, eventually beating the Padres, 11-10. 

A similar situation plays out within the confines of minor league baseball. Both of which serve to keep you in your seat amid a blowout affair, keeping you in the stadium as your team faces a seemingly insurmountable deficit late in the game. 

The thing that makes this game so special is no lead is insurmountable sans clock, because you have all the time in the world to pull off something rather remarkable. 

You never know when a baseball comeback will occur, and that is just one of the many reasons we can't take our eyes off the game. 

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