BELOIT, Wis. - Beloit beat the Kernels 9-4 on Sunday, snapping a season-best eight-game winning streak for Cedar Rapids. The Snappers needed a win to stay in contention for a playoff berth, and they scored five runs over the final two at-bats to stay alive. They will have a chance to secure the Wild Card spot on Monday in the regular season finale and advance to play the Kernels in the opening round of the Midwest League playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.
Beloit (68-69, 36-32) scored in the first inning on Hunter Hargrove's RBI double that scored Austin Beck, who led off with a single.
Cedar Rapids (77-61, 45-24) tied the game 1-1 in the third. David Banuelos began the inning with a single and scored on Akil Baddoo's RBI double, his second double in two at-bats on the day.
The Snappers jumped back in front 4-1 with a three-run bottom of the third inning. Beck's RBI single scored Nick Allen, who doubled. Hargrove doubled again, his second of the day, to bring Beck and Lazaro Armenteros home.
The Kernels used a three-run fifth to tie the game 4-4. Ariel Montesino and Jacob Pearson hit back to back home runs to start the inning. Montesino's first home run of the season just got over the wall and barely stayed fair down the line in left. Pearson, who was making his first at-bat after replacing Baddoo defensively, smashed his seventh home run of the season to right-center. Later in the inning, Ben Rodriguez's RBI single scored Gabriel Maciel.
Beloit scored five runs over the seventh and eighth inning to pull away 9-4. Two unearned runs with two Kernels errors plated two in the seventh. Armenteros scored from first base on a throwing error by catcher David Banuelos while Hargrove singled. Hargrove advanced to third on the play and scored when Miguel Mercedes reached on a fielding error by second baseman Michael Helman. Robert Mullen's RBI double pushed Beloit's lead to 7-4. Two batters later, Beck's RBI double scored Mullen. Beck came home on a RBI single by Armenteros.
Johan Quezada (1-1) allowed two unearned runs over two relief innings in the loss for the Kernels. Nick Highberger (6-3) tossed 2.2 scoreless and hitless innings to earn the win.
Rodriguez extended his consecutive on-base streak to 22 games, one game shy of Jordan Gore for the longest streak by a Kernel in 2018.
The final game of the regular season is on Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Tyler Watson (5-6, 4.78) is scheduled to start for the Kernels against Beloit's Gus Varland (0-0, 0.59). Mitchell Jordan (7-4, 2.68) is expected to pitch in relief for the Snappers. Fans can listen to the action on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM, as well as online at www.kernels.com and www.kmryradio.com.
The Midwest League playoffs begin on Wednesday night with a best-of-three series. Cedar Rapids will host Game Two of the Midwest League Quarterfinals on Thursday, September 6 at 6:35 p.m.
Fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or calling 319-896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. On Sundays when the Kernels have a home game, the Kernels Ticket Office opens at 11:00 a.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.