CLINTON — For the second time in as many nights, strong pitching and timely hitting paved the way to a Clinton LumberKings’ victory.

Omar Poveda (7-2) tossed five-hit ball over seven innings while striking out eight as the LumberKings knocked off Kane County 3-1 at Alliant Energy Field.

“I can’t say enough about our effort,” said Clinton manager Mike Micucci. “We got the lead again, played a lot better on defense and made better pitches.”

Clinton opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when Manny Pina opened the frame with his first homer of the year, a shot over the left-field wall.

The LumberKings tacked on two more runs in the fourth.

With one out, Chad Tracy walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by John Herrera.

K.C. Herren followed with a line-drive single to left to score Tracy and moved to second on a fielding error on the play.

Herren moved to third on a groundout by Mauro Gomez and scored when Jay Heafner singled to right.

Poveda gave up just two hits through five innings before the Cougars scratched out a run in the sixth.

With one out, Michael Massaro walked and went to third on a single to right by Larry Cobb.

Greg Dowling followed with a single to center, scoring Massaro and sending Cobb to second.

Poveda went on to strike out the next two batters to avoid further damage.

Brennan Garr took over for Poveda in the eighth inning and over the next two frames allowed just one base runner, the result of a walk. That resulted in his third save of the year.

Herrera (2-6) suffered the loss.

Besides crediting his own team, Micucci also cited Kane County. The Cougars dropped to 24 wins under the .500 plateau with the loss.

“We’ve played these guys six times and it seems we always have trouble putting them away,” he said. “We warned our guys not to look at their record. Kane County has been in 17 one-run games. They’re 0-17 in those games, but they play close.”

With the win, Clinton improved to 39-23 and remained a game behind Midwest League Western Division leader Beloit.

The successful record isn’t a surprise to Micucci.

“Last year the Texas Rangers sent some players to Clinton, knowing they’d be here for two years,” he explained. “What we tried to do in spring training was put together the core units of last year’s Clinton team and last year’s Spokane team. Both suffered growing pains last year and didn’t do very well, but you mix those two together and it’s a pretty good team.”

The series now shifts to Kane County, where the teams meet at 6:30 p.m. both tonight and Thursday.

From there, Clinton closes out the first half with three games at Peoria.

“It’s exciting to get back on the road,” said Micucci. “The players sometimes focus a little better when they’re staying in a hotel without the outside distractions, plus it’s a good bonding opportunity.”

LUMBERKINGS 3, COUGARS 1

KANE COUNTY CLINTON

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Massaro cf 3 1 0 0 Lemon ss 4 0 0 0

Cobb 2b 4 0 1 0 Vallejo 2b 4 0 0 0

Dowling 1b 4 0 1 1 Whttlmn 3b 3 0 0 0

Pratt dh 4 0 0 0 Tracy lf 2 1 1 0

Castillo c 3 0 2 0 Herren rf 3 1 2 0

Hernandz ss 4 0 0 0 Gomez 1b 3 0 0 0

Johnson rf 4 0 1 0 Heafner dh 3 0 1 1

Valdez 3b 3 0 0 0 Pina c 3 1 1 1

Sulentic lf 3 0 0 0 Paisano c 3 0 0 0

Totals 32 1 5 1 Totals 28 3 5 2



Kane County 000 001 000 —1

Clinton 001 200 00x —3

E—Sulentic, Lemon. DP—Kane County 1, Clinton 1. LOB—Kane County 6, Clinton 3. 2B—Castillo. 3B— . HR—Pina (1). SB—Dowling (1), Cobb (5).

IP H R ER BB SO

Kane County

Herrera (L,2-6) 6 5 3 3 2 4

Deaza 2 0 0 0 0 1

Clinton

Poveda (W,7-2) 7 5 1 1 1 8

Garr (Sv,3) 2 0 0 0 1 1

WP—Herrera, Poveda. PB—Pina. Umpires—Alper, Hirabayashi. Time—2:16. Attendance—NA.