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Kernels Fall Despite Web Gems by Fernandez, Wade

Cedar Rapids' lead atop Western Division trimmed in loss to Kane County
June 9, 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - J.J. Fernandez robbed the Kane County Cougars of a home run, and LaMonte Wade threw out a runner at home, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels took a 2-0 loss Thursday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Even with stellar defensive plays, the Kernels also committed a season-high-tying four errors that helped the Cougars get the win.

Fernandez kept Kane County (28-31) from extending an early lead with an incredible catch in the fourth inning. After a leadoff single from Trevor Mitsui, Grant Heyman hit a towering fly ball to right field. Fernandez waited at the wall and made a leaping catch that also started a double play.

Earlier in Thursday's tilt, Wade's arm stopped the Cougars from scoring during the top of the third. Fernery Ozuna tried to score on a single by Zach Nehrir, but Wade gunned down Ozuna at home plate from center field. It was fifth outfield assist this year for Wade and his 16th career outfield assist.

Kane County was still able to grab a 2-0 lead by tallying a pair of unearned runs. Ozuna reached on an error to open the game and later scored on Mitsui's two-out RBI single. In the fifth inning, an error allowed Raymel Flores aboard, and he scored when Ozuna hit an RBI double on the next pitch.

Joel Payamps shut down Cedar Rapids (33-26) over six innings in a combined shutout. Payamps stranded five runners - four in scoring position during a scoreless quality start. He also recorded eight strikeouts, tying a career high that he last achieved August 13, 2011 for the Dominican Summer League Rockies.

Payamps evened his record at 3-3 as the winning pitcher while Cedar Rapids' Miles Nordgren fell to 2-3 despite a quality start, allowing just two unearned runs in six innings. Keegan Long was credited with his second hold following 1.2 shutout innings of relief before Drew Muren, a former outfielder in the Houston Astros system, finished the contest for his first professional save.

The Kernels' loss, coupled with a 6-4 Peoria Chiefs win at the Burlington Bees, sliced Cedar Rapids' lead atop the Western Division a half-game. Coming up next, first-place Cedar Rapids will visit second-place Peoria for a three-game road series starting at 7:00 p.m. Friday. Kernels right-hander Cody Stashak (3-3, 2.90 ERA) will start against Chiefs right-hander Sandy Alcantara (4-4, 5.21 ERA) on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.

The next Kernels homestand runs from Monday, June 13 through Wednesday, June 15. Tickets for all Kernels home games and the 2016 Midwest League All-Star Game are available at www.kernels.com, the Kernels Ticket Office and by calling (319) 896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The ticket office is closed on Sundays except on Kernels Sunday home dates when it will open at 11:00 a.m.