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MWL: Kernels clip Snappers 6-5

BELOIT, Wis. -- The Kernels edged the Beloit Snappers 6-5 on Sunday at Pohlman Field in the opener of a three-game series. Bryan Haar and Jason Kanzler both homered in the game, and J.D. Williams collected three hits. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Kernels. The two teams meet for a Memorial Day-matinee at 2:00 p.m.

Haars home run in the eighth inning broke a 5-5 tie and gave the Kernels a 6-5 lead. Haars seventh home run of the season led off the inning and was blasted to deep left field.

Todd Van Steensel went the final two innings for his third save in three opportunities. Van Steensel retired the first five he faced before back to back singles with two outs in the ninth inning put the tying and go-ahead run on base. Van Steensel then got a lineout to short, ending the game.

Jared Wilson (1-0) was terrific again in relief as he picked up the win. He went two scoreless and hitless innings, striking out two and walking one. Wilson has not allowed an earned run in his first seven innings as a Kernel. Matt Stalcup (0-1) suffered the loss for Beloit, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings.

The Kernels took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Leadoff batter J.D. Williams doubled into the left-center field gap, moved to third base on Tanner Vavras groundout, and scored on Chad Christensens RBI single into shallow right field.

The Snappers answered with three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-1 advantage. The first three batters in the order loaded the bases with no outs, and they all came around to score. Singles by Boog Powell and Melvin Mercedes, along with a walk for Tyler Marincov, put three on base for B.A. Vollmuth. Vollmuths RBI sacrifice fly to center tied the game. Chih-Fang Pan, in his first game since April 21 because of a lower back injury, then ripped a RBI double into right-center to give the Snappers the lead as Mercedes came home. Luis Baez followed with the second RBI sacrifice fly to center of the inning to score Marincov and make the score 3-1.

Cedar Rapids fought back with a pair of runs in the second inning to tie the game 3-3. Jason Kanzler led off the second frame with his fifth home run of the season and third since Wednesdays game when he was activated off of the disabled list. The long-ball went just to the left of dead-center field and also extended his hitting streak to 10 games, matching Chad Christensen for the longest hitting streak of the season. Bo Altobelli was hit by a pitch following the home run, and he reached second base after a walk to Joel Licon. Altobelli came home to tie the game on a two-out RBI single up the middle by Williams, his second hit in two at-bats.

The Kernels went in front 4-3 in the fourth inning. Kanzler led off the inning with a sharp single into center field. Bo Altobelli reached with a base on balls, moving Kanzler to second base. Engelb Vielma then laced a RBI double into right-center to plate Kanzler and give the Kernels the lead.

Pan continued his strong return to the Beloit lineup with a two-run single to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Snappers a 5-4 lead. He knocked in both Powell and Mercedes for his second and third runs batted in on the day with his second hit. The inning began with Phil Pohl drawing a walk and Powell singling. Pohl was thrown out at home by Kernels first baseman Bo Altobelli on a fielders choice by Mercedes. After a fly out, a walk to Vollmuth loaded the bases for Pan, who came through with the run-scoring, go-ahead single.

Josue Montanez started for the Kernels and pitched five innings. He allowed five runs on six hits while striking out two and walking four.

The Kernels tied the game 5-5 in the seventh inning. With one out, Williams smacked a solid single into center field for his third base hit of the game. Vavra then singled to put two runners on. Williams later scored on a throwing error by Snappers second baseman Sam Roberts as Beloit tried to turn an inning-ending double play up the middle.

Lee Trivino went four innings for the Snappers and allowed four runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked two. Junior Mendez went two scoreless innings in relief while Tyler Hollstegge went one scoreless inning.

The Kernels continue the series at Pohlman Field on Memorial Day for a 2:00 p.m. game. RHP Kohl Stewart (1-1, 2.21) gets the start for the Kernels while RHP Kyle Finnegan (4-1, 2.61) gets the start for Beloit.
The Kernels return home on Wednesday, May 28 v. Wisconsin at 6:35 p.m. Its Free Money Wednesday, presented by First Federal Credit Union. $500 will be given out by at the main gates to fans age 18 and older, with the top cash prize of $100.

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