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MWL: Kane County Snaps Kernels Streak
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA The Kernels saw their four-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday night with a 2-1 loss to the Kane County Cougars.
Starting pitching dominated for both teams in the early part of Tuesdays ballgame. Ethan Mildren struck out four for Cedar Rapids while allowing Kane County leadoff hitters to reach the base paths in each of the first three innings. For the second straight evening the Cougars tallied the first hit of the ballgame in the opening inning. Kane County centerfielder Jake Hannemann doubled down the right-field line with no outs and reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by teammate Carlos Penalver. Mildren would escape the inning unscathed on a pair of strikeouts. A strong defensive effort by the Kernels defense allowed them to escape the second inning. Kane Countys Jordan Hankins hit into a 5-4-3 double play led by third baseman Bryan Haar.
Cedar Rapids broke into the hitting column in the bottom of the second after a leadoff single into left-field by Mitch Garver and an infield hit by left fielder Ivory Thomas, but were unable to push a run across the plate.
Kane County threatened in the top of the fourth but was stopped by another Cedar Rapids twin-killing. Jacob Rodgers began the small rally on a one-out single that skipped off the glove of Kernels shortstop Engelb Vielma. Remillard would record his second hit of the game in the next at bat. Hankins then hit into his second double play of the game to end the scoring threat.
The Kernels retaliated in the bottom half of the fourth by scoring the games first run. Garver hit a one-out double and would then reach third base on a ball that got past Kane County catcher Remillard. Zach Larson then scorched a single into right field that would bring in Garver to give the Kernels a 1-0 lead.
Jake Hannemann responded for the Cougars in the top of the sixth inning with a leadoff triple that tallied his second extra base-hit of the game. He was brought in on a RBI groundout by Yasiel Balaguert to knot the score at 1-1. Kane County added two infield singles with two outs, but could not add a run.
Tyler Skulina made the start for Kane County and threw five innings while giving up four hits and one earned run. Nathan Dorris (3-1) entered in relief for the Cougars in the sixth inning and picked up the victory for Kane County.
Ethan Mildren was the starting pitcher for Cedar Rapids and he exited the game after six innings while giving up one earned run. Mildren also struck out four Cougar batters without giving up a walk.
Left-hander Brandon Bixler relieved Mildren to begin the seventh inning of action where the Cougars grabbed their first lead of the game and the series.
Lockhart led off the seventh with a walk and would later come around to score on a one-out bunt for a single by Hanneman to make the score 2-1.
Bixler (1-1) threw one inning of work while giving up one run on two hits in the loss and would be replaced by Alex Muren in the top of the eighth. Muren worked a scoreless eighth after the Kernels defense recorded their third double-play of the contest.
Zach Godley pitched in relief of Dorris in the bottom of the eighth while holding the 2-1 Cougar lead and striking out two Kernels.Cedar Rapids began a rally in the bottom of the ninth but was unable to come back. Garver began the inning with his third hit of the evening while Larson would be walked immediately after. After receiving a visit by the coaching staff on the mound, Godley would strike out the next three batters for Kane County to secure the 2-1 victory.