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MWL: Kernels sweep Captains in extra inning walk-off

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Cedar Rapids Kernels swept the Lake County Captains on a 6-5 victory in 11 innings Friday night. Logan Wade slid in safely on a close play at the plate in the bottom of the 11th on Mitch Garver’s fielder’s choice RBI to seal the win. Michael Quesada blasted his third home run of the season, a three-run shot in the bottom of the fourth, to tally three RBIs while Chad Christensen collected four hits in five at-bats in the winning effort.

Alex Swim pushed his hitting streak to 14 consecutive contests with a single in the fourth and Jake Reed picked up his second victory in extra innings by preserving the tie in extra frames.

Lake County took their first lead of the game and the series, 1-0, in the first inning when Claudio Bautista crossed the plate on a Nellie Rodriguez single into left. Bautista extended his hitting streak to 13 games when he began the inning with a double into deep left field.

Jason Kanzler tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the second with a bunt single that brought in Alex Swim from third. Swim raced all the way to third base to begin the frame on a fly ball that was mishandled in center field for an error.

Michael Quesada powered the Kernels to a 4-1 lead in the fourth on a three-run home run that cleared the wall in left. Back-to-back singles by Swim and Kanzler earlier in the inning allowed the two to come in on Quesada’s third long ball of the season.

Luis Lugo finished his start for the Captains after five innings on the mound. Lugo surrendered four runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out six batters in the loss.

Anderson Polanco took over out of the bullpen for Lake County to open the sixth. Polanco gave up one run on three hits over three frames pitched along with four strikeouts on the night.

Bryan Haar made it a four-run advantage after he scored on a pass ball behind the plate in the sixth. Haar led off the frame with a double to the center field wall before making the score 5-1, Kernels.

Lake County answered and tied the game in the seventh with four runs on two outs. Jorge Martinez reached on an error at second base to start the inning and, after two ground outs, scored later on an RBI double to left by Bautista. Frazier singled in Bautista in the next at-bat to make it a 5-3 ball game.

Mike Papi tied the game after the Frazier RBI single with one swing of the bat. Papi’s first homerun and hit in the Midwest League made it a 5-5 game in the seventh.

Aaron Slegers exited the mound with his team up by two with two outs in the top of the seventh. Slegers gave up four runs, one earned, on six hits over 6 2/3 frames while walking two and striking out five in the no-decision effort.

Brandon Bixler entered with two outs and a man on in the seventh. Bixler hurled 1 1/3 innings of work and allowed one run on one hit while striking out two in the relief outing.

Cedar Rapids sent Dallas Gallant from the bullpen to begin the ninth. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings where he allowed one hit, walked one and struck out five in relief.

Jimmy Stokes toed the rubber in the ninth out of the pen for Lake County. Stokes preserved the tie game and pitched two shutout innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Kernels sent Jake Reed (2-0) to the bump in the top of the 11th where he threw one scoreless frame that featured a hit and a strikeout.

Carlos Melo (0-1) took the mound in the bottom of the 11th for the Captains and surrendered the winning run on two hits while posting a strikeout in the losing effort.

Logan Wade began the 11th with a double into left-center field and later scored the winning run on a Mitch Garver fielder’s choice RBI to the left side of the infield. The Captains argued the close play at the plate, but Wade was called safe to take the game by a final score of 6-5.

The Kernels continue the home stand by opening a three game series with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps Saturday evening at 5:05 p.m. It’s ADA Night at the ballpark where Clark & Associates has teamed up with the Kernels to celebrate those individuals that enjoy a better life thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Following the game, fans can stay and listen to the music of Jif and the Choosy Mothers during a post-game concert. Fans are also encouraged to stay for the spectacular FIREWORKS show after the Kernels game.

LHP Lewis Thorpe (1-1, 5.58) will get the ball for the Kernels in the series-opener while the Tin Caps are scheduled to send RHP Kyle Lloyd (3-3, 4.77) to the hill for the start.

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