BELOIT, Wis. - The Kernels won twice at Beloit on Saturday night to jump over the .500 mark with a 56-55 overall record. The Kernels won 4-2 in the completion on a suspended game from Friday night, and they defeated the Snappers 5-2 in extra innings in the nightcap. The Kernels are 25-16 in the half, good for first place in the division. Beloit fell to 13-27 in the first half and 43-67 overall.
The Kernels and Snappers began Friday night's game and played one full inning before heavy rain and hail forced the game to be suspended. The game picked up on Saturday afternoon with the score tied 0-0 in the second inning.
Beloit took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Luis Baez's RBI single plated Melvin Mercedes, who doubled two batters earlier.
The Kernels jumped ahead 2-1 in the fifth inning with three hits. Alex Swim started the frame with a single to center. Two batters later, he scored on Engelb Vielma's RBI single that was pulled down the first base line. Vielma scored from first base to give the Kernels the lead when J.D. Williams drove a RBI double into the right-center field gap.
Beloit quickly tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. BJ Boyd singled to with one out and then scored when Tyler Marincov drilled a RBI double to deep center field.
Cedar Rapids took a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning. Chad Christensen started the inning with a walk and quickly stole second to get into scoring position. Bryan Haar scored Christensen with a RBI double to right-center. Haar came home on Max Murphy's RBI single.
Chris Mazza (3-2) picked up the win for the Kernels in relief in game one. He went two innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out three and walking one. Jake Reed pitched two scoreless innings while Nick Burdi pitched collected his third save. Josue Montanez began the suspended game on the hill, pitching three innings. He allowed one run on three hits. Stephen Gonsalves started on Friday night and went just one inning, allowing one hit before the rain delay. Gonsalves will bounce back and start on Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
Joe Michaud (3-1) took the loss for the Snappers, allowing four runs in five innings of relief work.
In the nightcap, Beloit again tallied the first run of the game as they pushed ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. The Snappers recorded three singles in the inning with Melvin Mercedes singling and scoring on Phil Pohl's RBI fielder's choice.
The Kernels quickly tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second inning on their own RBI fielder's choice. Bryan Haar singled and reached second base on a fielding error by right fielder Tyler Marincov. Haar eventually scored on Michael Quesada's RBI fielder's choice.
The Kernels broke the tie in the sixth inning on Max Murphy's RBI single to left. It scored Christensen, who had single to right to begin the inning, and made the score 2-1.
However, Beloit tied the game again in the bottom of the sixth inning on Tyler Marincov's solo home run to left. It was his team-high 16th on the season.
The game was schedule for seven innings but went into extra innings with the score tied 0-0.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Kernels took a 5-2 lead on Bryan Haar's three-run blast to straight-away center. It was Haar's 14th of the season and secured the win for Cedar Rapids. It scored Ryan Walker and Christensen, who had both walked earlier in the inning.
Jared Wilson (3-2) picked up the win on the hill for the Kernels, allowing one run on one hit in two innings. Dallas Gallant notched his fourth save, going the final inning. Mat Batts made his Midwest League debut and earned a no-decision. He went five innings and allowed one run on three hits. The lefty struck out seven and walked one.
Joel Seddon (2-2) took the loss, allowing the Baar home run in the eighth inning. Lou Trivino started and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits.
The series will wrap up on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The Kernels return home on Monday night to take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Midwest League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Monday game at 6:35 p.m. opens up a seven-game home stand for Cedar Rapids. Monday is Dollar Monday, which features $1.00 regular hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, chips, and Cracker Jacks.
Tickets are available at www.kernels.com. You can also visit the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium or call 319-896-7560. Morgan Hawk brings you the action of all Kernels games live on KMRY Radio (93.1 FM/1450 AM) and online at www.kernels.com.