CLINTON — The fans were out in force Monday night supporting the Clinton River Kings as they hosted Muscatine for a Mississippi Athletic Conference doubleheader.
It was a beautiful night for baseball with a comfortable breeze blowing right to left, no humidity and temperature in the 70s. The only thing better than the weather was Clinton High freshman left-hander Cole Pennock, who continued his recent dominance at home against the Muskies.
Spectators may have been hoping for the pitching matchup of Pennock against Muscatine’s Derek Burkamper, but the Muskies held their ace off for the second game. That led to a split, with Clinton winning Game 1 6-0 and Muscatine winning game 2 10-0.
Burkamper made headlines recently by turning down a chance at professional baseball to fulfill his commitment to the University of Nebraska. He was drafted in the 20th round of this year’s draft but chose to hone his craft in college while gaining an education.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
The Pennock-Burkamper matchup would have been a great one to witness, but Pennock didn’t disappoint by twirling his second shutout in a row for the River Kings. As in his previous outing against Burlington, Pennock was dominant from the left side, extending his streak of scoreless innings to 12 while spreading out six hits on the night. He had spot-on control, striking out four and not walking a batter.
“Outstanding again. He’s pitching with a great amount of confidence right now. Anytime you get a pitcher that’s pitching with confidence, they can be tough to beat,” Clinton coach Kevin Cunningham said.
Only one batter reached third base for the Muskies against the young lefty, when catcher Trent Herman made it that far in the fourth, but that was the only real threat Muscatine put up in the first game.