CLINTON -- Matt Brill earned his first Midwest League victory for Kane County with an effective relief effort at Clinton on Sunday.
A former Moline prep from Coal Valley, Brill was credited with the victory in the Cougars' 1-0 victory over the LumberKings in the opening game of a Midwest League doubleheader at Ashford University Field. Clinton won the nightcap, 8-0.
The 6-foot-2 righthander, a 2017 draft pick of the Diamondbacks out of Appalachian State, came out of the pen with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning and faced just four batters to earn the first full-season victory of his career.
Kane County starter Brian Shaffer scattered two hits and struck out nine batters over 4.2 innings, including the two LumberKings he faced in the fifth before a pitch count put the ball in Brill's hands. Brill ended the inning with a flyout.
Clinton's Billy Cooke opened the sixth with a single, one of the LumberKings' four hits in the game, but Brill got Arial Sandoval to line out and used a pair of groundouts to end a 17-pitch outing which included 10 strikes.
Kane County mustered just three hits and struck out nine times against Clinton pitchers Tommy Romero and Matt Clancy in the opener, including an RBI single by Yan Sanchez in the second inning which scored Yoel Yanqui after he reached on a walk and advanced on a groundout.
In the nightcap, Jack Larsen hit a grand slam in the fifth inning as the LumberKings cruised to the win. David Gerber earned the victory while Kevin McCanna was hit with the loss.