Clinton, IA - The Clinton LumberKings (26-25) were walloped by the Kane County Cougars (36-17) Wednesday night at Ashford University Field, 7-1. The L'Kings fell behind 2-0 for the fourth straight game, and left a whopping 10 men on base through the first five frames against Cougars righty Paul Blackburn.
The Cougars struck first off of LumberKings right-hander Carlos Misell, scoring two runs in the first on three hits. Left fielder Corey Simpson lost Daniel Lockhart's line drive in the sun, and Ben Carhart promptly brought home Lockhart from second with a double off the base of the wall in left-center. One out later, Jacob Rogers made it 2-0 Cougars with a run-scoring single to right.
The first inning for Clinton was the first of five straight innings where the L'Kings left at least one runner on base. They left runners at the corners in the first, and they loaded the bases with one out in the second but failed to score as Ian Miller and Jack Reinheimer both struck out.
With Clinton desperately seeking a clutch base hit, it was Kane County who continuously capitalized. The Cougars knocked back-to-back doubles in the second to go up 3-0, and they pushed their lead to five with two more runs in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Clinton's offense left another runner on first in the third and they left two more runners on in both the fourth and fifth innings. A Marcus Littlewood leadoff home run - a solo shot in the fifth and his fourth HR of the season - accounted for the lone Clinton run.
Misell (5-4) lasted six innings, but set a new career-high in hits allowed (10) after giving up nine last Friday at Kane County. He allowed five earned runs for the second straight start. Blackburn (5-1) departed in the fifth with two outs and failed to pick up his fourth win in May. The 2012 supplemental first rounder gave up a season-high 10 hits but limited the damage before turning over to Zak Hermans (1-0) who delivered 3.1 shutout innings in relief.
Blake Holovach threw three innings after Misell exited, and allowed two runs - one earned - on four hits.
Kane County pounded out 14 hits, opposed to Clinton's 11. Miller, Littlewood, and Chantz Mack all recorded two hits for the LumberKings.
The LumberKings now sit nine games out of first place in the MWL Western Division.
Clinton and Kane County meet again Thursday night at 6:30 PM CT at Ashford University Field. Right-hander Jose Flores (1-0, 5.56) will start for the LumberKings. He'll be opposed by right-hander Tyler Skulina (3-1, 2.85). The broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, wcciradio.com, and lumberkings.com.