Clinton, IA - The LumberKings got early offense from the bottom of the order and a stellar outing from starter Scott DeCecco in a 5-3 win over Cedar Rapids Sunday afternoon at Ashford University Field.
The bottom three of the batting order consisting of Gaby Guerrero, Tim Lopes and Martin Peguero combined for seven hits, two runs scored and four RBIs.
They got on the scoreboard in the second inning when Marcus Littlewood started the frame with a double. Jordy Lara walked and both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch from Mason Melotakis. Guerrero hit a fly ball to center, deep enough to score Littlewood to give Clinton a 1-0 lead.
Lopes followed with a single through the right side, scoring Lara from second, extending the lead to 2-0.
In the third, Janelfry Zorrila reached on an error by third baseman Niko Goodrum to start the inning. It came back to hurt the Kernels as Littlewood delivered a two-out, run-scoring base hit.
The bottom three continued to hurt Melotakis as Guerrero and Lopes had back-to-back singles to start the fourth. Peguero followed with a scorching double down the left-field line to score both and give Clinton a 5-0 lead.
With the offense rolling, DeCecco went into cruise control. Before the seventh inning, no Cedar Rapids player made it to third base. They finally got to the left-hander in the seventh inning when Joel Licon doubled down the left-field line, scoring Tyler Grimes from first.
Richard Vargas was summoned for the eighth inning and struggled. After getting two quick outs, Vargas allowed consecutive hits by Jorge Polanco, Dalton Hicks and Adam Brett Walker. Cedar Rapids scored two in the inning to trim the lead to 5-3.
Reliever Cameron Copping came in for the ninth and put out the fire. The right-hander hit Grimes to start the inning but then got a 6-4-3 double play. After Jonathan Murphy followed with a single, he got J.D. Williams to ground out to end the game. The save was Copping's first with Clinton and the win was DeCecco's sixth of the year.
The LumberKings look for a series sweep on Monday. Left-hander Tyler Pike (5-3, 2.54) gets the ball against Kernels' right-hander Jose Berrios (5-4, 3.32). First pitch is at 7:00 PM CT.