DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Kernels fell to the Quad Cities River Bandits, 4-2, in Game two of the Midwest League quarterfinals on Thursday night. The Kernels have been eliminated from the post-season.
Jonathan Murphy battled with River Bandits starter Joe Bircher to lead off the first inning for the Kernels, pushing the count to 3-2 plus foul balls. After 10 pitches in the at-bat, Murphy hit a line drive home run to left field to give the Kernels an early 1-0 advantage.
After Rio Ruiz drew a two-out walk in the second inning, Robert Pena extended the inning as well with a double to drive in Ruiz, tying the game 1-1.
Quad Cities recorded its biggest inning with three runs in the fourth inning. Ruiz led off with a home run and then later Teoscar Hernandez drove in a pair with a single to left making it a 4-1 River Bandits lead.
The Kernels narrowed the deficit in the sixth inning when Max Kepler grounded out to second to drive in Jorge Polanco, who led off the inning with a double.
Tim Shibuya (0-1) went six innings in the start on the mound for the Kernels. The right-hander allowed four runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out five. Mason Melotakis followed with two scoreless innings and Brian Gilbert pitched one scoreless.
Bircher (1-0) exited after five innings for Quad Cities, allowing a run on three hits while walking none and striking out four. J.D. Osborne posted 0.2 of an inning, allowing a hit, run, walk, and strikeout. Patrick Christensen struck out four in his 2.1 innings. Andrew Walter pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save.