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MWL: Kernels outlast Lake County 4-3

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Cedar Rapids Kernels defeated the Lake County Captains 4-3 to take the first two games of the series Thursday night. The Captains rallied for two runs in the ninth, but were halted on a base running blunder by Jorge Martinez. Jon Murphy fired a base-hit from left field to second base to pick off Martinez after a wide turn for the game’s final out.

Kohl Stewart was brilliant over five shutout innings to pick up his third victory of the season. Alex Swim collected his 13th straight game with a hit while tallying two RBIs on one hit. Jason Kanzler went 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored while teammate Engelb Vielma assited the offense with two hits and a run-batted-in.

For the second consecutive game, early offense aided the Kernels against the Captains. Alex Swim provided a 2-0 lead in the first inning by driving in Ryan Walker and Chad Christensen in on a one out single to left field.

Engelb Vielma added a run in the bottom of the fourth by singling in J.D. Williams with two outs to make it a 3-0 mark.

Kohl Stewart (3-5) left the mound with his team in the lead after five scoreless innings pitched. Stewart surrendered four hits, struck out three and walked none in his second consecutive winning start.

The Kernels called Jared Wilson out of the bullpen to open the sixth. Wilson tossed two shutout innings of one-hit baseball while recording one walk and one strikeout.

Dace Kime (5-11) exited with two outs and a man on first in the bottom of the fifth. Kime finished the night after 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits while striking out four and walking four.

Left-handed Wander Beras replaced the Captains’ starter in the sixth. Beras allowed one earned run during 1 1/3 frames of work along with two strikeouts out of the bullpen.

Jason Kanzler put the Kernels in front 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth after sliding into home on a wild pitch. Kanzler led off the frame with his eighth triple of the season and provided the Kernels with a vital insurance run.

Trevor Frank took the mound in the seventh for Lake County in relief. Frank threw one shutout inning featuring zero hits while sending down two batters on strikes.

Hudson Boyd entered to begin the eighth for the Kernels on the bump. Boyd allowed one run on one hit along with two strikeouts in one inning of work.

Clint Frazier put Lake County on the scoreboard in the eighth, 4-1, on a broken-bat ground out that brought in Claudio Bautista.

Justin Brantley pitched the final inning defensively for the Captains. The right-hander gave up one hit and one walk during a single scoreless frame.

Nick Burdi picked up his first professional save after allowing two runs in the top of the ninth. Burdi surrendered two hits and two walks with one strikeout in one frame on the mound.

Jon Murphy ended the Lake County rally in the top of the ninth after throwing out Martinez at second base. Martinez took a wide turn on an Ivan Castillo single to get picked off by the left fielder.

The series with Lake County concludes Friday night at 6:35 p.m. It’s a Kernels Friday Mug Club, sponsored by 98.1 KHAK. Fans can buy a 16 oz. souvenir mug filled with their favorite regular draft beer or soda for just $6.00 and get refills at the Kernels concessions stands for just $3.00. Bring the mug back to every Kernels Friday home game for those $3.00 refills. It’s also ALS Camo Jersey Night where the Kernels will wear special camouflage jerseys that will be sold during the game via a silent auction with the proceeds to benefit the ALS Society.

Friday night also features Duck Dynasty Night where the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free blue Kernels Tea Cup similar to the ones seen on Duck Dynasty as part of the Duck Dynasty Tea Cup Giveaway. Wells Fargo and Copyworks are also sponsoring another giveaway where the first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a free 2014 Kernels Team Photo.

RHP Aaron Slegers (6-6, 4.89) will get the start in game three while Lake County is expected to counter with LHP Luis Lugo (5-7, 5.56).

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