GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Cedar Rapids Kernels jumped out to a 6-0 lead over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Monday night and cruised to a 10-2 win in Wisconsin's home opener at renovated Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The loss was the third straight for the Rattlers.
The Kernels (4-1) put three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning. Rattlers starting pitcher Preston Gainey walked the first two batters of the game. He would get the first out on a force out at second base. Then, Dalton Hicks doubled to drive in the first run. Adam Brent Walker was next for Cedar Rapids and he would also double. Walker's two-base hit drove in two more runs for a 3-0 Cedar Rapids lead.
Gainey would walk the first two batters he faced in the top of the second inning and Byron Buxton made it hurt. The Kernels centerfielder cracked the first pitch he saw over the wall just to the right of the batter's eye in center. The three-run homer by Buxton put the Kernels up 3-2.
Mitch Haniger doubled to start the Wisconsin half of the fourth inning. Clint Coulter, the top draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2012 draft, was next and he lined a home run to left-center. Coulter's blast was the first of the season by a Timber Rattler and pulled Wisconsin to within four.
The Kernels got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth inning. A solo home run by Travis Harrison off Eric Semmelhack put Cedar Rapids up 7-2.
Cedar Rapids tacked on three unearned runs in the top eighth inning. A two-out error allowed a run to score. Later, Walker singled with the bases loaded to drive in a pair of runs to account for the final score of 10-2.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night. Tyler Wagner (0-0, 1.80) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Cedar Rapids sends Brett Lee to the mound. Game time is 6:35pm.
Tuesday night is the first Baker Tilly Business Person & Senior Citizens Special presented by WVBO and AM1280, WNAM of the season. Show your business card when you purchase a ticket and for $11.50 you will receive a box seat ticket, a beverage and your choice of brat or hot dog. The offer is also available to senior citizens (55 & older).
If you can't make it out to the game, tune in for the radio broadcast on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15pm. Tuesday's game is also available to subscribers of MiLB.TV.
Byron Buxton (2nd, 2 on in 2nd inning off Preston Gainey, 0 out)
Travis Harrison (1st, 0 on in 5th inning off Eric Semmelhack, 1 out)
Clint Coulter (1st, 1 on in 4th inning off David Hurlbut, 0 out)
WP: David Hurlbut (1-0)
LP: Preston Gainey (0-1)