LumberKings Pull Away from Cougars
GENEVA, Illinois - The Kane County Cougars (1-1) were handed their first loss of the 2019 season in a 5-1 decision against the Clinton LumberKings (1-1) on Friday afternoon at Northwestern Medicine Field. Clinton expanded on a 2-1 advantage with a three-run sixth to put the game away. The Cougar loss evens the four-game series at one game apiece.
After the Cougars shutout Clinton the previous night, the LumberKings got on the board in the top of the first inning Friday. J.D Osborne doubled to right field, allowing Jerar Encarnacion to score from first, making it 1-0 Clinton. The bottom batter in the Clinton lineup, Demetrius Sims, ignited a two-out rally in the second inning with a single. The next hitter, Connor Scott, tripled home Sims to hand Clinton a 2-0 cushion.
The Cougar offense produced its only run of the day in the bottom of the second inning. Eduardo Diaz and Alek Thomas were on at first and second with one out when Clinton catcher J.D. Osborne committed an error on a pickoff attempt, moving runners to second and third. Alex King capitalized with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Diaz. The Cougars had multiple runners on base at the same time in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but failed to score. Overall, the offense stranded eight base runners.
With the Cougar offense struggling to drive runners in, the LumberKings put the game out of reach in the sixth inning. Cougar pitcher Erin Baldwin allowed a walk and a single to start the inning before getting pulled in favor of Wesley Rodriguez. Rodriguez walked his first batter, loading the bases with zero outs. Connor Scott grounded out to drive in a run, followed by Thomas Jones' sacrifice fly. With two outs, Jerar Encarnacion capped his three-hit day with an RBI double to right field, lengthening the lead to 5-1 Clinton.
Cougar starter Ryan Weiss (0-1) got nicked with the loss, allowing two runs in three innings. Erin Baldwin surrendered two runs in two innings. Rodriguez was charged with one run in the sixth, but settled in to throw scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth. Ryan Miller worked a clean ninth. Clinton starter Josh Roberson (1-0) allowed one unearned run in 5.2 innings to collect the win.
The four-game series between the Cougars and LumberKings shifts to Clinton on Saturday night. A pair of right-handers, Kane County's Justin Lewis and Clinton's Humerto Mejia, square off on the mound. First pitch it scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Follow the action live with Joe Brand on AM 1280 WBIG or on kccougars.com.
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