PEORIA, Ill. — Luis Liberato and Arturo Nieto came up big for the Clinton LumberKings as they defeated the Peoria Chiefs 4-3 in Game 2 to sweep the best-of-three opening round Midwest League playoff series at Dozer Park.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Liberato fired home to Nieto from left field to throw out pinch-runner Matt Davis and prevent the tying run from scoring and end the game.
Liberato and Nieto also did damage with their bats, helping Clinton jump out to a 4-0 lead through six innings. Liberato finished with three hits and a run scored while Nieto drove in two runs to go with a double and a walk. Chris Mariscal hit a solo homer in the sixth for Clinton.
Peoria mounted a comeback in the seventh inning, scoring three runs on a pair of home runs from Brian O'Keefe and Chris Chinea.
The LumberKings advance to the Western Division Championship Series beginning Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Cedar Rapids against the Kernels. Game 2 is Sunday in Clinton.