Kane County starting pitcher Tyler Skulina couldn't get through the third inning as the Clinton LumberKings struck early to capture a 7-4 victory over the Cougars on Tuesday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.
Skulina (0-2) surrendered a two-out solo homer to Dario Pizzano in the top of the first. In the bottom of the first, the Cougars (50-72, 20-36) tied the game at 1-1 when Gioskar Amaya led off with a double and scored on a Jeimer Candelario fielder's choice.
The LumberKings (63-63, 30-27) put up a 4-spot in the third against Skulina. Brock Hebert led off witha walk and scored on a hit by D.J. Peterson. After Marcus Littlewood walked to load the bases, Taylor Ard chased Skulina with a 3-run double to make it 5-1.
Reliever Rob Zastryzny replaced Skulina and worked the next 32⁄3 innings, allowing a run on 5 hits. Gaby Guerrero's RBI single in the fifth drove home Littlewood to put the LumberKings ahead by 5.
Steven Ewing (1-0) worked 5 innings for the LumberKings and gave up 3 runs. Giuseppe Papaccio scored on a wild pitch from Ewing in the fifth, and Jose Dore crossed the plate on a groundout by Reggie Golden.
In the top of the ninth. Peterson homered. The Cougars' Golden picked up an RBI single in the home ninth.
The Cougars host the Beloit Snappers in a three-game series that begins today at 6:30 p.m. Right-hander James Pugliese (0-0) starts for the Cougars against righty Dakota Bacus (9-5).