CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Kernels fell short in the series-opener to Wisconsin 4-3 on Monday evening. Michael Ratterree drove in Johnny Davis with one out in the top of the ninth to take the game over Cedar Rapids. Dallas Gallant took the loss for the Kernels with his first earned run given up on the year while Tristan Archer picked up the win on two scoreless innings pitched. Lewis Thorpe tossed four innings of one-run baseball where he allowed just one hit with six strikeouts.
Chad Christensen hammered his eighth home run for the Kernels and scored a pair of runs while Alex Swim recorded one hit and one run-batted-in. Jared Wilson and Chris Mazza made relief appearances in the losing effort and combined for four innings out of the bullpen.
Great pitching and hitless baseball defined the game for the opening three innings.
Wisconsin broke into the lead, 2-0, in the top of the fourth with just one hit, a pass ball and an error at first base. Chris McFarland led off the inning with a single to second base and scored the first run on a bases loaded pass ball to David Denson. In the next at bat, Rafael Neda reached on a fielding error at first to allow Michael Ratterree to score.
The Kernels answered in the bottom half of the fourth with two runs to tie the score at 2-2. Alex Swim gave the Kernels their first base-hit with an RBI single to right field that drove in Chad Christensen with one away in the inning. With Engleb Vilema batting and two outs in the inning, Mitch Garver crossed the plate on a wild pitch to the backstop.
Lewis Thorpe ended his start for Cedar Rapids after tossing four innings of one-hit baseball. Thorpe allowed two runs, one being earned, walked three and struck out six in the no decision effort.
Jared Wilson took over for the Kernels in the top of the fifth and tossed two innings out of the bullpen. Wilson finished with one run allowed on two hits along with a pair of strikeouts.
Zach Quintana pitched four full frames as the Rattlers' starter and exited after surrendering two runs on one hit coupled with two walks and three strikeouts.
Wisconsin tabbed Luke Curtis to begin the fifth out of the bullpen. Curtis tallied three innings pitched where he gave up one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts and zero walks.
The Timber Rattlers jumped back into the lead 3-2 in the fifth when Ratterree drove in McFarland on a two-out run-scoring single up the middle. McFarland singled earlier in the inning to right-center field and moved into scoring position on a pickoff attempt that was thrown for an error.
Chad Christensen delivered for the Kernels in the bottom of the sixth with a deep home run over the left field wall. Christensen's eighth homer of the season made it a 3-3 score after six.
Chris Mazza entered for Cedar Rapids in the seventh and went two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Mazza totaled one hit, two walks and three strikeouts in the relief outing.
Tristan Archer (5-5) toed the rubber for the Rattlers to open the eighth and toss two scoreless frmaes to pick up his fifth win on the year. In the relief appearance, Archer allowed one hit and struck out three.
Dallas Gallant (1-1) pitched the ninth out of the bullpen for the Kernels and allowed his first earned run on the season with one out. Gallant allowed two hits, walked two and struck out a pair in the losing effort.
Johnny Davis scored the winning run for Wisconsin on Michael Ratterree's one-out sacrifice fly to right field. After leading off the inning with a single to right, Davis crossed the plate to make it 4-3 and move Wisconsin ahead.
The Kernels host Wisconsin for game two of the series scheduled for 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday evening. It's another Twins Tuesday, sponsored by Great Clips where fans can get an on-line coupon from the Kernels Facebook page or email newsletter for a 2 for 1 ticket offer at Tuesday home games. The Kernels will wear special jerseys and one lucky fan will win a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets given away at every Tuesday home game.
RHP Ricky Nolasco will make an MLB rehab start for the Kernels in game two and will face RHP Barrett Astin of the Timber Rattlers.
Tickets are available at www.kernels.com. You can also visit the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium or call 319-896-7560. Kernels' games are broadcast live on KMRY Radio (93.1 FM/1450 AM) and streamed online at www.kernels.com.