CLINTON, Iowa -- Three pitchers combined for the team's ninth shutout of the year as Duane Underwood, Jose Arias and Michael Heesch silenced Clinton's bats for nine innings. A 4-0 win guaranteed a series win for the Cougars (12-3, 57-28) as the LumberKings (5-10, 35-48) will try to avoid the sweep Sunday.
The Cougars were first to break a scoreless tie for the second straight day as Carlos Penalver brought two runs home with a two-out single in the third inning.
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Working with a two-run lead, Underwood (3-2) only got better as the game progressed. The Cougar right-hander served up a leadoff double to Martin Peguero in the third, but picked off the Clinton base runner in scoring position. The pickoff proved to be important as Luis Caballero singled right after. The LumberKings wouldn't see another base hit until the ninth inning.
Clinton's starter Edwin Diaz (2-5) worked five and two-third innings allowing just the two runs before leaving the game in the middle of Jacob Rogers' at-bat. The LumberKings bullpen continued the pitching duel as they kept the Cougars quiet until the ninth.
The Cougars doubled their lead on a Caballero error and a Shawon Dunston Jr. sacrifice fly in the ninth frame.
After two nearly perfect frames from Arias in relief, Heesch took the mound in the final frame with a 4-0 lead. Jack Reiheimer connected on the first LumberKing hit in six innings and a Penalver error put runners at first and third. Heesch battled back to strikeout both Justin Seager and Isiah Yates to finish off the victory.
The Cougars go for the sweep Sunday, sending Jen-Ho Tseng (3-0, 3.22) to the mound against the LumberKings' Jose Flores (2-0, 4.18). First pitch from Ashford University Field is 2 p.m.