CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Bailey Ober tallied a game-high 10 strikeouts over 6.2 scoreless innings on his 23rd birthday within a 6-2 Cedar Rapids Kernels victory Thursday against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Ober earned his sixth consecutive winning decision and helped Cedar Rapids (14-7, 46-44) even this three-game series with Fort Wayne (12-9, 44-46).
Ober (6-1) only allowed one baserunner to reach third base within a quality start. His 10 strikeouts marked his best total since posting a career-high 12 strikeouts July 5 against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Ober also tied Randy Dobnak for Cedar Rapids' team lead in wins this season.
Royce Lewis opened Thursday's scoring in the first inning. Lewis was hit by a pitch to extend the frame and quickly stole second base. Jose Miranda's groundball to shortstop led to an error that allowed Lewis to score for a 1-0 Cedar Rapids lead.
Trey Cabbage and Akil Baddoo pushed the Kernels to a 4-0 advantage during the bottom of the second. Cabbage led off with his seventh home run of the year, and Baddoo added a two-run double later in the inning.
Cabbage led a two-run outburst in the eighth that increased Cedar Rapids' lead to 6-0. Cabbage collected an RBI single to secure his first professional four-hit game. David Banuelos produced an RBI single of his own and guaranteed a career-best eight-game hit streak.
Fort Wayne broke up the shutout in the ninth but fell short, 6-2. Luis Almanzar doubled to drive in Gabriel Arias, and Jalen Washington singled to plate Almanzar. Jared Finkel followed by inducing a double play and a game-ending popout.
Mason Thompson (6-6) was the losing pitcher in Thursday's contest. He gave up four runs including three earned runs over four innings pitched.
Friday's rubber game between Cedar Rapids and Fort Wayne is slated to begin at 6:35 p.m., and Kernels right-hander Blayne Enlow (0-2, 3.73) will square off against TinCaps southpaw Tom Cosgrove (2-3, 5.06). Morgan Hawk will call the action on 1450 KMRY AM, 93.1 KMRY FM, and KCRG 9.2 and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free UNI cap for UNI Panther Night. The Kernels will wear special UNI jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game to support the Panther Scholarship Club. Panther mascots TC and TK will be at the contest along with the UNI Dance Team. Kernels Friday Mug Club Night sponsored by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z102.9 encourages fans to purchase a special 16 oz. refillable mug of regular draft beer or soda for $6.00 with the option to use that mug for $3.00 refills at each Kernels Friday home game.
Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids 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.