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MWL: 5 run 8th gives Kernels comeback victory

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- A five-run comeback in the bottom of the eighth pushed the Cedar Rapids Kernels past the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 7-4 on Thursday night. Fresh off the disabled-list, Logan Wade provided the Kernels with four RBI’s and a two-out three-run blast to left field in the eighth. Tanner Vavra added an RBI-triple and scored two runs while Alex Swim went 2-for-4 and collected a two-RBI double in the win.

Bo Altobelli had two hits in two official at-bats and Dallas Gallant picked up his first save of the season. Chih-Wei Hu tallied a no-decision and five strikeouts in his Midwest League-debut for the Kernels.

The Rattlers tallied four runs on four hits and three Kernels errors to take an early 4-0 lead in the opening frame. Johnny Davis reached the base paths on a wide throw to first by Chih-Wei Hu and later scored along with Chris McFarland on a Michael Ratterree ground ball that was mishandled at third base.

Wisconsin added to its lead in the first when Omar Garcia singled in Rafael Neda on two outs. Steven Halcomb made it a four-run lead on a single to right that brought in Taylor Brennan, but the inning ended on the same play when Garcia was thrown out at the plate by Alex Swim from right field.

Cedar Rapids cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third when Tanner Vavra tripled in Bo Altobelli and scored on a Logan Wade sacrifice fly to left field to make the score 4-2.

Chih-Wei Hu finished his Kernels-debut after six innings where he allowed four unearned runs on five hits. Hu struck out five and walked one in a no-decision effort.

Alex Muren (3-1) opened the seventh for Cedar Rapids and tossed two scoreless frames where he gave up a pair of hits along with two strikeouts in the win.

Taylor Williams finished his start after seven innings of four-hit baseball for the Timber Rattlers. Wiliams surrendered two runs to the Kernels while walking one and sending down eight batters on strikes during the outing.

Tyler Alexander (5-4) entered out of the bullpen in the eighth for the Rattlers and exited after being hit by a Mitch Garver line drive with two outs. Alexander took the loss over 2/3 of an inning and allowed five runs on three hits along with one strikeout.

Tyler Spurlin inherited the mound with two down in the eighth and recorded the final out after allowing one hit during his 1/3 of an inning.

Logan Wade blasted the Kernels in front in the eighth on a two-out three-run homerun over the left field wall. The blast marked Wade’s second homer of the year during his first return to the lineup since a left shoulder injury placed him on the disabled list in early May.

Alex Swim added two insurance on a two-out double in the eighth that allowed Chad Christensen and Mitch Garver to cross the plate and make the tally 7-4.

Dallas Gallant took the hill for the Kernels in the ninth and struck out the side en route to his first save of the season. Gallant allowed one run on two hits in the final frame.

Dustin DeMuth kept Wisconsin alive in the top of the ninth with a two-out RBI-single that brought Halcomb around to score. The Rattlers had four men consecutively reach the bases on their final strike in the inning before falling 7-5.

The Kernels travel to Clinton on Friday to make up a suspended game from June 30th and play a regular nine-inning contest. Cedar Rapids will battle the LumberKings in three other games through Monday before returning to Veterans Memorial Stadium to host a six-game home stand. The Kernels have the day off on Tuesday the 14th and will welcome Lake County and Fort Wayne each for a three-game series beginning on Wednesday the 15th.

The Kernels will send a reliever to the mound to complete the suspended game on Friday while Kohl Stewart will open the complete game and face Scion Gi Kim (0-2, 2.61) of the LumberKings.

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