CLINTON, IA (September 1, 2017) - Connor Grey will never forget the night he spent in Clinton on September 1, 2017 as he threw a perfect game against the Clinton LumberKings in a 5-0 Kane County Cougars win at Ashford University Field on Friday night. The perfect game is the first in the Cougars 26-year history and the first in the Midwest League since 2004.
Grey (3-1) joins 2000 LumberKing (31-36, 62-72) Scott Dunn as the only other pitcher to throw a perfect game at Ashford University Field. In his night of dominance, he threw an even 100 pitches, struck out eight, and just three times worked with three balls in a count.
The Cougars (32-35, 71-63) scored all of their runs in the top of the first inning when they batted around against LumberKings starter Danny Garcia. Stephen Smith collected the big hit in the inning, tripling to left center field for three runs. The triple was his second of the series and came with the bases loaded. The five-run Cougars outburst was enough to hang Garcia (7-13) with the loss.
Three outs away from the perfect game, Grey struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning. Louis Boyd represented the last hope for Clinton and jumped ahead in the count 2-0. After missing with his second straight to Boyd, Grey then went behind the mound to regather himself and came back with consecutive strikes to even the count, 2-2. Boyd then lifted the next pitch into shallow right to Smith who made the catch that touched off a Cougars celebration.
Grey's historic feat marks just the second time in franchise history that Clinton has been on the receiving end of a nine inning perfect game. The only other pitcher was Dennis Ribant's perfect game on July 2, 1961 in Decatur.
Grey also becomes the first opponent in the over 80-year history of Ashford University Field to throw a perfect game.
The LumberKings will now hit the road for the final time in 2017 season to open a three-game series with the Burlington Bees. Clinton right-hander Ljay Newsome (8-8, 4.04) will take the ball for the LumberKings. Game time is slated for 6:30 PM with the pregame show on 100.3 FM WCCI beginning at 6:15 PM, Erik Oas will be on the call.
About the LumberKings
The LumberKings, the only remaining Charter Member of the Midwest League, are playing their 62nd season in the league and their ninth as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Since the club's inception in 1937, 272 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. Tickets to all 70 home games 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.