Clinton, IA (April 7, 2018) - The Clinton LumberKings used the long ball on Saturday night to top the Kane County Cougars 7-2 in the 2018 curtain raiser at Ashford University Field. Ariel Sandoval smashed two home runs for the sixth time in his professional career as the LumberKings (1-0) coasted to an Opening night win over the Cougars (0-1).
Clinton starter Nick Wells pitched well in his season debut. The lefty struck out six over his five-inning outing to earn his first win of the season.
Wells (1-0) worked around an early run in the top of the first inning. Ernie De La Trinidad walked to open the game and scored five pitches later when Jassardo Chisholm double down the left field line to give Kane County an early 1-0 lead.
Chisholm drove in both of the Cougars runs. Adding his second RBI of the game in the top of the fifth inning on a single to left that scored Stephen Smith.
The LumberKings overcame their early deficit. In the bottom of the second inning, Johnny Adams opened the frame with a single to right and quickly moved to third on a stolen base and throwing error by catcher Tim Susnara. Cougars starter Mack Lemieux then issued a walk to Ryan Costello and allowed the LumberKings first run of the season when Billy Cooke chased home Adams on an RBI groundout to first.
In the bottom of the third, the LumberKings took the lead for good. Eugene Helder worked a one out walk off Lemieux (0-1), and scored when Ariel Sandoval launched his first home run of the game over the left-centerfield wall. Jack Larsen then followed with a 414 foot home to right to give the LumberKings back-to-back home runs and an 4-1 lead.
Leading 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning Sandoval registered his second home run of the night with a towering two-run homme run to left.
Clay Chandler and Austin Hutchison then combined to shutout the Cougars over the final four innings. Chandler struck out a career-high six batters over his three innings of work to earn a hold. Hutchison worked a drama free 1-2-3 top of the ninth to preserve the LumberKings win.
The LumberKings and Cougars will conclude their season opening series Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader to make up the April 5th snow out. Both games will be seven innings with game one starting at 12:00 PM. Clinton will throw right-hander Tommy Romero (0-0, 0.00) in game one while the Cougars will counter with right-hander Brian Shaffer (0-0, 0.00). The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes following the final out of game one. The LumberKings will start left-handed pitcher Oliver Jaskie (0-0, 0.00) against Kane County's right-handed pitcher Kevin McCanna (0-0, 0.00)
The first 500 fans through the gates on Sunday will receive a LumberKings 2018 poster schedule. All Sundays this season at Ashford University Field will be Children's Discovery Center Family Funday's. All kids are welcome to take part in face-painting, balloon artists, and postgame kids run the bases courtesy of the Children's Discovery Center.
About the LumberKings
The LumberKings, the only remaining Charter Member of the Midwest League, are in their 63rd season in the league and their 10th as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Since the club's inception in 1937, 278 former Clinton players have made it to the Major Leagues. The LumberKings play at historic Ashford University Field located off 6th Avenue North at 537 Ballpark Drive. Advertising and tickets for the 2018 season are available by calling (563) 242-0727 or by visiting lumberkings.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.