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MWL: Kernels downed by Peoria 12-3 in series-opener
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA -- The Kernels fell 12-2 to the Peoria Chiefs at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday evening. Logan Wade hit two doubles, scored a run, drove in a run and collected three of the teams ten hits on the night. Chad Christensen added an RBI-single in the second inning and Jason Kanzler nailed a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth for the Kernels final run.
The Chiefs scored all 12 runs in the first four innings and plated their first run in the top of the first to make it 1-0. Cesar Valera tripled to center field with one out and was later brought in on a run-scoring single to right field by Juan Herrera.
Peoria pushed the lead to 2-0 in the top of the second inning when Kenny Peoples-Walls homered over the left field wall.
Five-straight hits on two outs extended the Chiefs lead to 5-0 in the top of the third. Herrera, Kelly and Peoples-Walls all came across the plate in the inning for Peoria.
The Kernels answered in the bottom half of the third with two runs all on two outs. Logan Wade and Chad Christensen each drove in a run to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Felix Jorge (2-2) started the contest for the Kernels and exited after three innings of work. He surrendered five runs on eight Chiefs hits while striking out one and walking a single batter in the losing effort.
The Chiefs batted through the order and opened a wide lead in the top of the fourth to set the mark at 12-2. Herrera tripled in two runs and grabbed his third hit of the night in the inning. The Chiefs walked four times and added five hits during the seven-run frame.
Relief pitcher Christian Powell entered the game in the top of the fourth for Cedar Rapids and recorded two outs against Peorias hot-hitting batters. He finished the night with 2/3 innings pitched and allowed seven runs on four hits while walking three.
Todd Van Steensel came in and recorded the final out of the top of the fourth inning for the Kernels. He tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the Kernels on two hits and struck out four batters.
Peoria starter Silfredo Garcia (2-2) exited after five complete innings on the mound and picked up his second win of the year. He finished with two runs given up on six hits and recorded seven strikeouts for the Chiefs.
Kevin Herget entered in relief in the sixth and pitched three innings for the Chiefs without giving up a run. Herget walked three while fanning seven Cedar Rapids hitters.
Kernels pitcher Brandon Bixler came into the game in the seventh and threw three scoreless frames. Bixler allowed three base runners during his tenure on the hill and had three strikeouts.
Jason Kanzler opened the bottom of the ninth with a solo blast over the center field wall to make the score 12-3.
Peoria closing pitcher Chris Thomas recorded the final three outs and secured the 12-3 victory for the Chiefs.
The Kernels host Peoria Saturday night in game two of the three-game series at 6:35 p.m. The Kernels are wearing special pink jerseys, sponsored by McGrath Auto, that will be sold via a silent auction during the game with the proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society. Fans are encouraged to remain at the park after the conclusion of the game for a Saturday night fireworks show.
RHP Aaron Slegers (2-0, 3.14) makes the start for the Kernels while Peoria counters with RHP Blake McKnight (1-0, 7.71).