A trio of Clinton pitchers allowed just four hits and the LumberKings moved one win away from the Midwest League championship series with a 4-0 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Saturday.
Starter Josh Roberson got things off on the right foot for the hosting LumberKings, striking out 10 and walking none over five shutout innings before relievers Manuel Rodriguez and Zach Wolf finished off the league semifinal series-opening win.
Evan Edwards supplied all the offense the LumberKings ended up needing as the 2019 fourth round pick followed Will Banfield's one-out single in the second inning with a blast to center field to make it 2-0.
A leadoff triple by Samuel Castro in the third, followed by a Christopher Torres RBI single, made it 3-0, and consecutive two-out singles by Torres, Jose Devers and Peyton Burdick upped the lead to 4-0 in the fifth.
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The Kernels, who reached the league semifinal series by topping the Quad-Cities River Bandits two games to one in the first round, failed to get a runner past first against Roberson.
Cedar Rapids' best scoring chance came in the seventh inning, when Tyler Webb hit a two-out triple to center field. Rodriguez got Jared Akins to ground out, however, to end the threat.
Clinton will try to win the best-of-three series when the teams face off again at 5:05 p.m. in Cedar Rapids.
Clinton's Tanner Andrews, who boasted a 3.52 ERA during the regular season, will face off against Cedar Rapids' Kody Funderburk, who had a 4.68 ERA for the Kernels.