Muskies starter Eric Torres did not fair nearly as well, failing to make it out of the second. He issued five free passes to the River Kings in his 1 1/3 innings. The River Kings added two hits against Torres before he was pulled for Tucker Snider, who gave up two more hits, putting Clinton up 6-0 after two innings.
The two big blows came off the bats of shortstop Cody Nolan and left fielder Alex Caldwell, who each hit two-run singles. Nolan also had another RBI single in the second inning ahead of Caldwell’s big hit.
“It’s a lot easier when your whole team’s hitting; you get the momentum. You feel like once one person hits, everyone starts hitting,” Nolan said.
It was a good thing Pennock brought his ‘A’ game because after Snider came in and settled down, he shut down the Clinton offense, scattering five hits the rest of the game.
“When you can get six runs in the first two innings its pretty much, you just roll from there,” Pennock said.
Nolan continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs in Game 1 and recording the first hit for the River Kings in Game 2 during the fourth inning against Burkamper.
The tables were turned in Game 2 as Burkamper breezed through the Clinton lineup as Pennock had with the Muskies in the previous game. A few hiccups here and there didn’t slow Burkamper.
“I thought I located all my pitches real well,” Burkamper said. “You have to pitch backwards sometimes; come out with that curveball right away and then go with that fastball.”
The River Kings finally broke through against the talented righty in the third with their first baserunners, courtesy of two walks.
Nolan’s hit came an inning later, and then in the fifth, Ryan Driscoll led off with a single to the right side but was doubled up on a sharp line drive off the bat of Evan Jackson.