Clinton, IA - It was fireworks night at Ashford University Field, but the fireworks only came once the game had gone final for the LumberKings, as they dropped their third straight and fell back below .500 at 9-10. 2013 1st round pick, number four overall, Kohl Stewart was brilliant in six innings of one hit ball, as he picked up his first career MILB victory in a 6-1 Cedar Rapids (10-10) win.
Jake Zokan (1-1) allowed only two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings, but picked up the loss as the LumberKings bats were nearly silent the entire night. The Kernels jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, courtesy of an RBI single by Kernels catcher Mitch Garver. The LumberKings answered with an unearned run in the fourth. After a two out walk to Tyler O'Neill, he advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored after a Joe DeCarlo ground ball got passed Kernels third baseman Bryan Haar.
The unearned run was the only blemish on a nearly perfect night for Stewart. The righty struck out a career high six and walked only one. Stewart retired 10 of the last 11 LumberKings he faced, and left with a 2-1 lead. The Kernels pen managed to shine even more than Stewart, as Yorman Landa and Brandon Peterson allowed only two baserunners over the final four shutout frames. The pair struck out seven of the nine batters they retired.
The LumberKings pen took over in the sixth, as Tommy Burns made his third bullpen appearance since he was removed from the rotation. Burns got the final two outs in the sixth, but surrendered back-to-back singles to begin the seventh before he was removed for Blake Holovach. Holovach allowed both inherited runners to score, one on Garver's second RBI single, and another on a double steal of second/home by Garver and Jason Kanzler. Holovach allowed two more runs in the ninth, as Kanzler tripled, Tanner Vavra had an RBI single, and Garver drove in Vavra with a double, his third RBI of the night.
Clinton batters struck out a season tying high 13 times and set a new season low for hits with two. Marcus Littlewood saw his on-base streak end at 12 games as he went 0-4, while Jack Reinheimer saw his seven game hit streak end with an 0-4 night. LumberKings manager Scott Steinmann was ejected in the ninth inning by home plate umpire Chris Lloyd for arguing balls and strikes. A season high 5,136 took in the game at Ashford University Field.
Clinton and Cedar Rapids meet for the middle game of the set Saturday afternoon in Clinton. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 CT, as Lars Huijer (0-0, 2.63) gets the ball for the LumberKings, while Felix Jorge (1-1, 7.24) gets the start for the Kernels. The broadcast can be heard on WCCI 100.3 FM, WCCIRadio.com, and LumberKings.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.