CLINTON — July was the month the Clinton River Kings turned the corner en route to their state tournament run last season. They hoped Tuesday’s win would do the same in 2014.
The Clinton River Kings shut out the Cascade Cougars in a 4-0 win at home, giving Clinton its second win in a row.
The River Kings kept the Cougars scoreless in the first with a 1-2-3 inning from Junior Alex Dodd. Clinton got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the first on three hits, including a timely hit by junior Evan Jackson.
Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham believed that capitalizing early was a key to the victory.
“Historically our program has played a lot from behind, so it was really nice to get two runs on the board early and get some timely hitting, “ Cunningham said.
The hits continued to come for Clinton, who ended the night with a total of eight hits and four runs. Even when the hits weren’t falling, the River Kings were making contact off Cascade pitcher Senior Greg Myers.
They ended the night with just one strike out.
“I think we are finally starting to come around,” said Cunningham about the offense Tuesday night. “We’ve been preaching attack the ball. We watched too many strikes early in the season, so it’s nice to have our guys come out and swing the bat.”
The final two runs came in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Jordan Chapman launched a line drive to left field to get to first, and a sacrifice bunt from Jackson advanced him to second. Chapman didn’t stay at second long as Junior Austin Driscoll launched a ball over the right field fence to score two.
“We knew the wind was blowing out to the right side,” Driscoll said about his first home run on the season. “I got a good swing on it and she carried a little bit.”