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MWL: Clinton Scores 7 in 9th, Stuns Kernels
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Cedar Rapids Kernels fell to the Clinton LumberKings 7-4 after a seven run comeback by the LKings in the ninth at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Christian Carmichael sent a one-out grand slam over the wall in left to put Clinton up for good in the ninth. Ethan Mildren allowed no runs on four total hits over seven innings, his longest outing of the year. Bryan Haar smashed his 11th homer of the year and ninth run-batted-in in the last two contests. Engelb Vilema tallied two hits and a run while Chad Christensen scored a run and blasted his fourth triple of the year.
For the second consecutive game, the Kernels got on the scoreboard in the opening inning.
Zack Granite led off the first with a walk and came around to score when Jason Kanzler was hit by a pitch. Engelb Vielma hit his 11th double of the year in the frame and later scored off a fielders choice ground ball hit by Alex Swim to make it a 2-0 edge.
Solid pitching by both starters defined the game for the next five innings.
Clinton hurler Edwin Diaz finished the day after throwing six innings and allowing two runs. Diaz compiled three strikeouts, two hit batters and one walk in the loss.
Ethan Mildren left the mound after seven strong innings, his longest outing of the season. The right-hander tossed seven scoreless fames on four hits while walking one and tying a season-high with six strikeouts.
The LumberKings called Paul Fry out of the bullpen to begin the seventh. Fry threw one scoreless inning for Clinton and surrendered one walk and one hit in his lone frame on the hill.
Dallas Gallant entered for the Kernels in the eighth inning. The reliever pitched one scoreless inning where he tallied two strikeouts.
Emilio Pagan (2-2) took the rubber in the eighth for the LumberKings and surrendered two runs on a two-run homer to Bryan Haar. Pagan allowed two runs on two hits along with one strikeout in one inning of work.
The Kernels picked up two insurance runs to go up 4-0 in the eighth on Bryan Haars third homerun in two consecutive games. Chad Christensen opened the hitting in the inning with a triple to deep right-center field and was later brought in on Haars 11th long ball of the year.
Nick Burdi made his professional debut for the Kernels out of the bullpen to begin the ninth. Burdi walked all four men he faced and allowed four earned runs without recording an out.
Jared Wilson (2-1) took the mound with no outs in the ninth and took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits. Wilson also walked one batter and struck out one.
Clinton took the game in the ninth by sending 12 men to the plate, collecting four hits and scoring seven runs to take the decisive 7-4 lead. Zach Shank scored on a pass ball to make it a 4-1 edge for Cedar Rapids. Justin Seager then singled in Aaron Barbosa to make it a two score game while Jack Reinheimer was walked in on the next at-bat to make the score 4-3.
Christian Carmichael tallied the game-winning hit with one out on a grand slam over the left field wall. The blast put the LumberKings up 7-4 in the top of the ninth.
Aaron Brooks pitched the bottom of the ninth and collected his second save of the year by working through a scoreless final inning. Brooks surrendered a single hit and struck out one out of the bullpen to secure the 7-4 victory for the LumberKings.
The Kernels will battle Clinton in the series finale Sunday at 12:05 p.m. in Cedar Rapids. Its a Dollar Monday where regular hot dogs, small popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, chips and Cracker Jacks are each $1 on Monday home games. Plus, get $1 taquitos at the Hacienda Las Glorias / La Cantina Mexican Cart. Fans are encouraged to enjoy a game of baseball during the noon game sponsored by Z 102.9.
RHP Kohl Stewart (1-4, 2.53) will make the start for Cedar Rapids while the Clinton will counter with RHP Jose Flores (2-0, 4.50).