CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Four bases-loaded walks in the sixth inning flipped the momentum and the lead Friday as the Cedar Rapids Kernels defeated the Burlington Bees, 8-3, at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Kernels (3-6) tallied six unanswered runs to close the opener of a three-game series with the Bees (6-3).
Burlington jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the top of the second. Gleyvin Pineda collected an RBI single that brought in Nonie Williams, and Pineda scored later in the inning on Michael Stefanic's two-out single.
Andrew Bechtold and Jean Carlos Arias hit back-to-back home runs to pull Cedar Rapids level in its half of the second inning. Bechtold launched a one-out solo shot to center field before Arias lifted a round-tripper over the right-field wall that tied the contest at 2-2.
The Bees regained the lead during the fourth. Alexis Olmeda and D.C. Arendas drew consecutive walks while Stefanic loaded the bases with a single. Jordyn Adams followed with a walk that forced in Olmeda and put Burlington in front, 3-2.
In the sixth inning, Cedar Rapids scored four runs without any hits to take a 6-3 advantage. Joe Cronin reached first base on a strikeout coupled with a passed ball and tallied the game-tying run after Jacob Pearson's one-out walk. Arias, Gabe Snyder, and Michael Davis each received two-out, bases-loaded walks to build Cedar Rapids' lead.
The Kernels extended their edge to 8-3 within the eighth inning. A three-base error put Bechtold at third, and Arias drove him in via sacrifice fly. Snyder batted next and crushed a solo homer to right-center field that capped the scoring in Friday's game.
Austin Schulfer (1-1) and Carlos Suniaga combined for five scoreless innings of relief to finish the contest. Schulfer gave up just one hit over four shutout frames for his first Midwest League victory.
Luis Alvarado (0-1) was tagged for four unearned runs to be charged with a blown save and a loss. Alvarado inherited a lead from Jake Lee who posted a career-high 10 strikeouts over five innings pitched but did not factor in the decision.
Game two of this three-game series will begin at 5:05 p.m. Saturday. Kernels right-hander Josh Winder (0-0, 3.60) is scheduled to pitch against Bees right-hander Cristopher Molina (0-0, 0.00). Fans unable to attend the contest can follow the action with Chris Kleinhans-Schulz on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Prior to Saturday's tilt, all kids aged 12 and under can participate in a Pregame Quarter Hunt with $300.00 in quarters spread out on the infield dirt. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. with the Quarter Hunt expected to start around 4:15 p.m.
Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids Kernels home games by visiting www.kernels.com, going to the Kernels Ticket Office, or 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. On Sundays when the Kernels have a home game, the Kernels Ticket Office will open at 11:00 a.m.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels are the Midwest League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.