CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels hit a season-high-tying four home runs Thursday and tallied three runs in the eighth inning for a 7-6 triumph over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Kernels (7-8, 46-39) avoided a three-game sweep against the Timber Rattlers (7-8, 33-50) with their comeback win.
Lewin Diaz, Andre Jernigan, Christian Cavaness, and Hank Morrison each clubbed solo home runs for Cedar Rapids. Diaz's blast in the first inning put the Kernels in front, 1-0. Jernigan and Cavaness recorded back-to-back homers in the second that tied the game, 3-3. Morrison added a game-tying home run in the third to even the score at 4-4.
Wisconsin (7-8, 33-50) grabbed a couple of early leads with its early offense in the contest. Ronnie Gideon recorded a two-run double in the second inning and scored during a force out to give Wisconsin a 3-1 advantage. During the third inning, Joantgel Segovia singled and drove in Mario Feliciano for a brief 4-3 edge.
Tucker Neuhaus went 4-for-4 and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle while lifting Wisconsin to a two-run lead through the top of the eighth. Neuhaus hit a solo home run within the fifth to push the Timber Rattlers ahead, 5-4. In his final at-bat, he singled and later came home on a single by Gideon for a 6-4 Wisconsin lead in the eighth inning.
The Kernels surged in front, 7-6, after critical singles by Cavaness and Aaron Whitefield during the bottom of the eighth. Cedar Rapids was 0-for-26 this series with at least one runner in scoring position when Cavaness came to the plate, and his RBI single plated Caleb Hamilton to cut Cedar Rapids' deficit to one. Two batters later, Whitefield singled to drive in Joe Cronin and Cavaness.
Colton Davis (4-2) earned the win Thursday with two scoreless and hitless innings of relief. He pitched a perfect top of the ninth to secure the victory. Wisconsin's Aaron Myers was credited with his second hold after allowing just one run in two-plus frames. Luke Barker (1-4) was charged with a blown save and a loss, conceding two runs in one inning pitched.
Up next, Cedar Rapids continues its week-long homestand with a four-game series against the Peoria Chiefs. Friday's series opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Kernels right-hander Clark Beeker (7-2, 2.79) and Chiefs right-hander Frederis Parra (1-1, 3.03) expected to start the contest. Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
Friday is Iowa State Cyclone Night, and the first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free Iowa State cap. The Kernels will wear Cyclone-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off during the contest to benefit the Iowa State Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. It is also Kernels Friday Mug Club Night sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z 102.9.
Fans can purchase tickets for all 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 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 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.