CLINTON — Waiting until Wednesday to play their baseball games against the Burlington Grayhounds turned out to be a good decision for the Clinton River Kings. Not only did they avoid playing in the rain Monday, but they swept the doubleheader, winning 6-0 and 13-3.
Young, lanky, left-hander Cole Pennock was on the mound for the opener and came out throwing hard with good bite on his curve.
“I knew I was rolling when I was throwing my curve consistently for strikes because I knew they didn’t want to swing at that pitch; they wanted to swing at my fastball,” Pennock said. “So I could throw that for strikes, and I forced them to swing at what I wanted them to and I can pitch my game.”
Pennock spread out four Grayhounds hits over the seven-inning shutout and at one point retired nine straight batters.
“Outstanding pitching performance from Cole Pennock. I think that’s the best I’ve seen him pitch since he’s been a River King,” coach Kevin Cunningham said.
With solid defense behind him, Pennock was able to relax on the mound and take control.
“I felt good. I knew I had a great defense behind me tonight. The goal was tonight to keep my pitch count down, and I think I did a good job with that tonight,” Pennock said.
Burlington wasn’t able to move a runner past second base during the game, and the River Kings got out of any tense situations by relying on their defense, which turned a flawless double play in the fifth to neutralize a threat.
Clinton picked up all of its offense for the first game in the bottom of the third. Sending 12 batters to the plate, Clinton knocked out six hits and took advantage of a Burlington error to give themselves some breathing room. The two-run error was followed by the biggest blow of the inning, a two-run single by Cody Nolan that put the game out of reach at 6-0.