Clinton, IA - LumberKings' Pitching Coach Andrew Lorraine wanted his bullpen to be rested for the start of the playoffs Wednesday. Therefore he elected to use the bullpen Sunday afternoon instead of Monday, ensuring more days rest. The plan worked when the trio of Blake Holovach, Mark Bordonaro and Oliver Garcia stifled the Kernels lineup in a 3-1 Clinton win Sunday afternoon at Ashford University Field.
Holovach got the nod for the spot start and dazzled early. He struck out the side in the first and the second inning on his way to a career-high nine strikeouts.
Gaby Guerrero belted a booming solo homer in the bottom of the second to give Clinton a 1-0 lead. Holovach then struck out a pair in the third and struck out Mike Gonzales for the second out of the fourth. He gave way for Bordonaro who came on and retired Bo Altobelli with a runner at third to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Clinton added a run in the fourth on a Tyler Marlette infield single and a pair of errors. With two outs, Zach Shank hit a bouncer to second that Tyler Grimes mishandled. The error allowed Marlette to score and make it a 2-0 game.
Bordonaro worked through the seventh inning. His sixth and final strikeout came when he got Jeremias Pineda to end the seventh.
Oliver Garcia allowed a run on a pair of hits in the eighth inning but settled down after Clinton added a run in the bottom half. Dario Pizzano's 40th double of the year proved large when Marlette followed with a base knock to right, scoring Pizzano to give the LumberKings an insurance run.
Garcia worked around a two-out walk to pick up his second save of the season. Bordonaro notched his third win in relief. The 15 strikeouts by Clinton pitching were the most in a single game this year. Holovach's nine is the most by one pitcher in a single game.
The two teams finish the regular season Monday afternoon at Ashford University Field. Clinton turns to left-hander Steven Ewing (1-1, 4.91) against Kernels left-hander Miguel Sulbaran (8-4, 2.93). First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM CT. A post-game concert by Levi Fraley will follow the game.