The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


June 6, 2013

Untouchable, Unhittable, Unbeatable Unsworth

CLINTON -- Oliver Zapata and Byron Buxton. Should either hitter accomplish nothing more this season for Kane County or Cedar Rapids, at least they'll carry one distinction:

They are the only hitters to draw walks from Clinton's Dylan Unsworth in the first half of the Low-A minor league baseball season.

If you oppose the LumberKings' right-handed starter, you're going to earn your way to first. You're 90 feet removed from four wins and one loss (Wednesday night against Peoria); 53 consecutive innings without a walk; 11 runs allowed and an ERA of 1.90 over the past eight weeks; a head-spinning 22:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

You're staring down a 20-year-old ace amid an explosion.

With a 6-inch, sandy-blonde mullet, the 6-foot-1 Unsworth models himself after the best in the big leagues — Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum. His goal is to take their styles a step further, and even his idols can respect the kind of stats Unsworth has amassed in the first half of the season.

Buxton was the last batter Unsworth walked, two months ago on April 14. That memory is lost in Unsworth, who said he doesn't like to think about his current tear — only the next batter up.

"I'm just working my way up and trying to be the best I can every day," he said. "I'm moving up the ranks slowly, but it's getting there."


The LumberKings feed into the Seattle Mariners organization, a franchise hailed nationally in baseball for its current farm system. An April 22 Sports Illustrated article labeled Seattle "The Next Nats" — a reference to the burgeoning, long-maligned Washington Nationals who broke out to make the 2012 postseason with mostly homegrown talent. The article mentioned former Clinton standout Nick Franklin (now starting for Seattle at second base), but delved only as low as the Double-A ranks.

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    The win snapped a six game losing streak for Clinton and a four game winning streak for Quad Cities.

    July 31, 2014

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    July 28, 2014

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  • Interest in Ernst rises as his game does, too

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    The rising River King senior is spending the summer playing for the Iowa Barnstormers traveling basketball team. This weekend they're playing in the Fab48 tournament in Las Vegas.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jones leaves UNO program

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    The 6-foot-5 Clinton High grad who had committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha, has left the program, and according to his Facebook page, has enrolled at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
    The enrollment office at the community college confirmed that Jones was registered for classes this fall at Kirkwood. Kirkwood coach Bryan Petersen, a Clinton High graduate, declined to comment and gave no indication that Jones would play basketball for the Eagles this winter.
    "College basketball isn't for everybody," Clinton coach Nick Lawrence said. "A little time away might do him some good."
    Jones came home to Clinton after spending just a few days with the Mavericks, and enrolled to Kirkwood shortly thereafter.
    Jones, the Herald's Player of the Year, averaged 19 points a game for the River Kings in his senior season and finished with the second-most rebounds with 160.
    He shot 41 percent on the floor and 28 percent from 3-point territory. He committed to Omaha before last season started in October.

    July 26, 2014

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