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MWL: Kernels beat Beloit 6-1

BELOIT, Wis. -– The Kernels beat the Beloit Snappers 6-1 on Wednesday night at Pohlman Field. Five of the team’s 10 hits were extra-base hits. The Kernels improved to 61-60 overall, 30-21 in the second half. Beloit fell to 47-73 overall, 17-33 in the half. Cedar Rapids goes for the sweep on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. With 19 games remaining in the regular season, the Kernels have a three-game lead on a playoff spot.

J.D. Williams and Max Murphy both hit their third home runs of the season on Wednesday. Williams reached base all four times on the night, adding a double and two walks. Murphy added a double, scoring twice on the night.

Chih-Wei Hu (5-1) made his first relief appearance of the season and went five scoreless innings for the win. He allowed just three hits while striking out three and walking one. Hu relieved Kohl Stewart, who was activated off the disabled list and made his first start since July 17. Stewart retired the first six batters he faced and exited after four innings pitched. He allowed one run on three hits while striking out four and walking none.

The Kernels jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Jonatan Hinojosa led off the game with a single to center and scored when Chad Christensen hit his team-best seventh triple into the right-center gap. Christensen then came home when Mitch Garver looped a single into shallow center.

Williams put the Kernels up 3-0 when he pulled his third home run of the season just over the right field wall, leading off the second inning.

Beloit’s lone run came in their half of the third inning when they collected all three hits off of Stewart. Michael Soto began the inning with a single. Then, after a Melvin Mercedes single Chih-Fang Pan doubled down the right field line to make the score 3-1.

Cedar Rapids responded in the fourth inning, extending the lead to 4-1. Murphy doubled to right-center to start the frame and scored later in the inning when Engelb Vielma bounced into a double play.

Beloit threatened in the fifth inning, Hu’s first inning of work. They put two in scoring position with one out, but Hu recorded a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning. It was smooth sailing through the end of the game as the Snappers recorded just two more singles the rest of the way.

Murphy’s home run came in the eighth inning, putting Cedar Rapids up 6-1. Murphy’s third of the season was crushed to center field and scored Garver, who singled to begin the inning.

Murphy now has three home runs in just 15 games as Kernel, reaching base in all 15 games played.

The Kernels put the leadoff man on in seven of nine innings on the night, scoring in four of those innings.

Lou Trivino (6-9) went seven innings but took the loss for Beloit. He allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out one and walking two. Trevor Bayless allowed two runs in two innings of work.

The Kernels return home on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. to take on the Peoria Chiefs, the Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s Hawkeye Sports Night so fans are invited to wear black and gold as Herky and the Iowa Spirit Squad will be in attendance. The first 1,000  fans through the gates will receive a free Hawkeye mini football. The Kernels will wear Hawkeye themed jerseys, presented by the Linn County I-Club. The jerseys will be sold via a silent auction during the game. It’s also Daddy-Daughter Date Night. In addition, it’s Friday Mug Club Night, sponsored by 98.1 KHAK. Fans can buy a 16 oz. souvenir mug filled with their favorite draft beer or soda for $6.00 and get refills for $3.00.

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