Clinton, IA - Despite pounding out 14 hits, the LumberKings dropped the series opener, 7-4 to the Kane County Cougars on Saturday night at Ashford University Field.
The Cougars took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Guillermo Pimentel couldn't handle a high drive to center hit by third baseman Jeimer Candelario that brought in Dan Vogelbach.
Clinton quickly evened the score on Jordy Lara's sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the first. Three doubles to start the second inning by Taylor Ard, David Villasuso and Ketel Marte gave Clinton a 3-1 lead.
Kane County countered in the fourth inning with a pair of runs off LumberKings' starter Scott DeCecco. Another error by a Clinton outfielder, this time Dario Pizzano, cost them a run. With two outs in the inning, Pin-Chieh Chen hit a line drive to left that Pizzano couldn't track down. Oliver Zapata raced home with the tying run.
Clinton loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning with nobody out but would only get one run. Jordy Lara hit into a 5-4-3 double play and Gaby Guerrero popped out to first to end the threat.
David Holman relieved DeCecco in the top of the sixth inning and promptly allowed a tying homer to catcher Wilson Contreras. The trouble didn't end there as the right-hander allowed two more runs in the inning. Kane County tacked on another insurance run in the ninth.
The two teams meet tomorrow for game two of the series. Clinton sends right-hander Victor Sanchez (0-1, 2.76) to the mound against Kane County right-hander Dillon Maples, who is making his Midwest League debut. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.