CLINTON — Arby Fields saved the Clinton LumberKings from another no-hit blunder.
Fields' infield single came in the sixth inning when he found a hole in the infield that put him on first base, but he never advanced.
He was be the only baserunner Cedar Rapids allowed in a 2-0 win over the LumberKings on Taijuan Wallker Bobblehead Night on Saturday.
Australian pitcher Sam Gibbons struck out 12 LumberKings in his eight-inning outing and did not allow a walk. Michael Theofanopoulos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the shutout.
"I was in control, and I felt I like I could throw any pitch that I wanted to," Gibbons said. "From the first inning, I felt like I could throw whatever I wanted up or down, in or out."
Gibbons retired the first 17 batters before Fields picked up his infield hit, a soft liner that dropped in between the mound and shortstop Sean Miller. Miller barehanded the ball, but Fields beat his throw to first base.
"There was a little superstition thing I did before that pitch that I shouldn't have done, and then afterward, I was like, 'damn it, why did I do that?' "
It's been a good month for Gibbons. He started the month with a complete-game, four-hit shutout against Kane County.
Clinton's pitching did well, too. Zack Littell threw shutout eight innings, his longest outing of the season, and allowed four hits. Littell's previous high for innings pitched was 7 1/3 on July 23: the night Peoria threw a no-hitter against the LumberKings, winning 2-0.
"Their starter and our starter did a tremendous job of throwing zero after zero up there," Clinton Manager Scott Steinmann said. "If (Zack) keeps giving us chances to win, I like our chances."
Cedar Rapids got its two runs on Brett Doe's two-out double in the ninth off reliever Jeffeson Medina that scored Edgar Corcino and T.J. White. Medina lost his 10th game this season.
"Those guys did a good job getting on before me, and I was a little anxious before that; I swung at a ball in the dirt," Doe said. "I made some adjustments, Jake (Mauer, the Kernels' manager) calmed me down a little bit, and I got a hit."
Doe and also made defensive plays behind Gibbons that prevented Clinton hits. White made a diving stop on Chris Mariscal's grounder down the third-base line in the fourth inning, and Doe made a barehand grab when Martin Peguero's grounder took a tricky hop toward the first baseman in the fifth.
Saturday's box score will be in Monday's sports section. Check out the photo gallery here.