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MWL: Bees hang on to beat Kernels

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Cedar Rapids Kernels fell to the Burlington Bees 7-6 Saturday night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in game one of a three-game series. Bryan Haar hammered a base-clearing 3-RBI triple while Mitch Garver and Jason Kanzler both added RBIs on the night. Josue Montanzes (1-3) suffered his third loss of the year on the mound for Cedar Rapids.
Burlington attacked in the first inning by taking a 3-0 lead off of two hits and two errors on Kernels third-baseman Bryan Haar. Angel Rosa doubled to bring in two runs and later scored on a fielding error to put the Bees in front.
Cedar Rapids retaliated in the bottom of the third when Joel Licon stole home on a Vielma pickle-play in between first and second base. Vielma later scored on a Mitch Garver single to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Bees added a run in the fourth to go up 4-2 when Ranyelmy Mendoza came around on an Erick Salcedo RBI-single up the middle of the infield.
Josue Montanez (1-3) left the game for the Kernels after his fourth inning on the mound. The starter allowed four runs, none being earned, on four hits while walking one and striking out a season-high seven batters.
Alex Muren entered out of the bullpen starting the fifth for Cedar Rapids. Muren finished with three innings pitched and surrendered three runs on four hits while striking out four.
Burlington plated two runs in the fifth to increase the lead to 6-2. Brandon Bayardi tripled in a run and later scored courtesy of a Mendoza groundout in the two-run frame.
The Bees benefitted from another extra-base hit in the sixth, this time off the bat of Mike Fish. The triple brought across Chad Hinshaw to push the lead to 7-2.
Ismael Dionicio replaced Rosa at third base defensively to begin the seventh.
Ryan Etsell (4-1) exited as the Burlington starter after going seven strong innings. Etsell allowed two Kernels runs on six total hits while walking one and striking out a season-high ten batters.
Grant Gordon pitched in relief to begin the eighth for the Bees and would exit after 1/3 of an inning. Gordon gave up four runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one.
Alan Busenitz closed the remainder of the eighth and ninth innings for Burlington. The right-hander picked up his sixth save of the year and gave up one hit while striking out two in his 1 1/3 innings on the mound.
The Kernels rallied in the eighth on a bases-loaded base-clearing triple by Bryan Haar to make the score 7-5. Kanzler singled in Haar in the next at-bat to edge the score at 7-6, but the Kernels rally ended thereafter.
Cedar Rapids hosts Burlington on Sunday in game two of the series starting at 2:05 p.m. Its a Planet X Run the Bases Sunday where young fans can run the bases, play catch and receive autographs following the game presented by 104.5 KDAT and Planet X.
Fans are also encouraged to bike and bring their dog to the park as its a Bike to the Park Sunday and Bark at the Park ball game. Every Sunday home game fans can play Travel Advisors Baseball Bingo, co-sponsored by the Radisson near Mall of America, for a chance to win a trip to Minneapolis and see a Twins game.
RHP Kohl Stewart (1-2, 2.93) is scheduled to start Sunday for the Kernels while Burlington is expected to start RHP Clint Sharp (1-3, 4.69).

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