CLINTON — When Justin Seager drove in a first-inning run with a single, it seemed that at last, perhaps, the Clinton LumberKings had figured out Kane County pitching.
Cougars pitchers had surrendered just one run in the first two games of the three-game Midwest League baseball series at Ashford University Field. In 11 games between the two teams this season, Clinton had managed to score more than three runs just three times. The Cougars had a pair of shutouts — including a 4-0 win Saturday night — and had given up just one run four other times in building a 9-2 record against the LumberKings.
“They give themselves a chance to win every night because they don’t shoot themselves in the foot with their pitching,” Clinton manager Scott Steinmann said.
Three hours and 13 innings later, Clinton still had just one run showing on the scoreboard. The good news, though, was that Clinton’s pitching was just as stingy, and the Cougars had managed just one run, too.
Finally, Kane County put a pitcher on the mound who didn’t know the secret to shutting down the Kings. And, Seager was right in the middle of things again as the LumberKings won the 14-inning marathon 2-1 on a bases-loaded single by Martin Peguero.
“I was happy to get that one run on the board early to set the tone for the rest of the game,” Seager said. “I was hoping we’d build off it, but the pitchers pitched real well and the defense played pretty well. We were able to hold them to only one, and to come back in the 14th is always fun.”
Despite playing extra innings with temperatures in the 80s, the LumberKings had plenty of energy to chase down Peguero and mob him between first and second, celebrating a victory to end the short, three-game homestand.