CLINTON, IA (August 30, 2017) - A Clinton LumberKings 5-0 loss to the Kane County Cougars on Wednesday night at Ashford University has eliminated them from playoff contention. Clinton's (30-35, 61-71) shutout loss puts them five games back of the Peoria Chiefs with five left to play in the Wild Card race of the Western Division.
LumberKings starter Nick Wells pitched effectively through his first two innings of work, facing the minimum before allowing the game's first runs in the top of the third inning. Back-to-back RBI singles from Yan Sanchez and Anfernee Grier chased home the first runs of the game for Kane County (31-34, 70-62).
Wells (5-10) worked 4.2 innings for Clinton and was given the loss for his time out. In the top of the fifth inning, the Cougars tacked on three more runs to pull away with a 5-0 lead. Wells allowed the final five batters he faced to reach and left the game with a runner at first with two men out. Michael Koval then followed out of the bullpen and allowed a Ramon Hernandez two-run home run to left, his 12th of the season. The home run was the first allowed by Koval since June 25 against the Beloit Snappers.
Riley Smith started for Kane County and was dominated in his seven-shutout innings of work. He allowed all five of the LumberKings hits, all singles, and struck out eight while walking none and earning his third win of the season.
The LumberKings got just one runner to third base during the game, Nick Thurman in the bottom of the fifth inning. Smith (3-1) stranded Thurman at third in the fifth, the only inning where the LumberKings recorded more than one hit in the same frame.
Trevor Simms worked the final two innings for the Cougars and allowed just one base runner to reach against him during his time out. Simms received a no decision for his work but preserved the Cougars shutout with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning.
The LumberKings will now play game two of their three game series with the Kane County Cougars on Thursday night. Clinton right-hander Ryne Inman (2-4, 6.42) will take the ball for the LumberKings and face Kane County's left-handed pitcher Mack Lemieux (7-5, 4.70). 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. Thursday will be the final "Thirsty Thursday" of the season with $1 Coors Light and Miller Lite draft beers available from 5-8PM to all fans 21 years and older. The LumberKings will also take the field in special throwback uniforms as part of "Throwback Thursday."
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.