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MWL: 3-Run 6th gives Kernels 4th straight win
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Cedar Rapids Kernels picked up their fourth win in a row, 4-3, with a three-run sixth inning against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps On Saturday evening. The Tin Caps led early off of two solo homeruns before relinquishing the lead. After Logan Wade’s sacrifice bunt was fielded for an error in the sixth, Mitch Garver and Bryan Haar added consecutive RBI singles to give the Kernels the lead. Lewis Thorpe allowed just three hits over 4 1/3 innings pitched and the Kernels bullpen of Chris Mazza, Hudson Boyd and Nick Burdi were excellent in relief to hold on for the victory.
Tremendous starting pitching defined the first three frames of action in the series-opener. Kyle Lloyd tallied six strikeouts through his first three on the mound while Lewis Thorpe escaped the first two innings with men in scoring position.
Jake Bauers broke the scoreless ball game, 1-0, with a lead-off home run to left field for the Tin Caps in the fourth inning.
Chad Christensen answered for the Kernels in the bottom of the fourth with a triple down the line in right. Mitch Garver followed the team’s first hit of the evening with a ground ball RBI to third base that tied the game 1-1.
Fort Wayne regained the lead in the top of the fifth with a lead-off solo shot off the bat of Nick Schulz to make the score 2-1.
Lewis Thorpe left the mound following 4 1/3 innings pitched where he gave up two runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Chris Mazza (2-2) entered with the bases cleared and one out in the top of the fifth. Mazza allowed one run off of four Fort Wayne hits over 2 1/3 frames of work where he picked up a pair of strikeouts.
The Kernels broke through in the bottom of the sixth for three runs on three hits. Tanner Vavra began the frame with a lead-off walk and later tied the game on a Logan Wade sacrifice bunt that was fielded for an error. Wade and Engelb Vielma made it a 4-2 Cedar Rapids lead in the inning off back-to-back RBI singles by Mitch Garver and Bryan Haar with one out.
Kyle Lloyd (3-4) ended the evening with men on and one out in the sixth. Lloyd surrendered four runs on four hits while collecting eight strikeouts and three walks over the span of 5 1/3 innings in the loss.
Jorge Guzman took the mound out of the bullpen with the Kernels threating in the seventh. Guzman got out of the jam with a twin killing and finished his outing after 2 2/3 innings where he gave up one hit and struck out three batters.
Three consecutive two-out hits in the seventh allowed the Tin Caps to battle back and make it a 4-3 game. Rey Bruguera scored the frame’s only run on a Trea Turner RBI single to right field.
Hudson Boyd got the nod out of the pen with two outs in the seventh. Boyd went 1 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed a single hit in the relief appearance.
Nick Burdi entered in the top of the ninth and closed out the 4-3 game with a ground out and two strikeouts to pick up his second save of the season.
The Kernels and Tin Caps continue battle in game two of the series Sunday at 2:05 p.m. It’s another Run the Bases Sunday, sponsored by Planet X.
After every Sunday home game, kids (and adults) can run the bases, play catch on the field and get autographs from the Kernels, sponsored by Planet X with media sponsor 104.5 KDAT. Fans can enjoy the balloon artistry of Papa Balloon on the concourse and face painting by Kennedy. Magician Jackson Green will also entertain on the concourse.
Every Sunday home game, fans are encouraged to play Travel Advisors Baseball Bingo, co-sponsored by the Radisson near Mall of America, for a chance to win a trip to Minneapolis and see a Twins game.
RHP Ryan Eades (5-10, 6.67) gets the start in game two for Cedar Rapids and will square off against LHP Jeffery Enloe (1-3, 2.79) of the Tin Caps.