DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Kernels clinched a playoff spot on Wednesday night with a 12-4 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park. The offense pushed across eight runs in the eighth inning, rolling to the victory late.
The two teams leading the division when the first half ends on Sunday will advance to the playoffs in September. With the spot secured, the Kernels now look to clinch the division title. The Kernels lead the Beloit Snappers by 0.5 game after the Snappers were rained out on Wednesday night. Beloit hosts Wisconsin in a doubleheader on Thursday while the Kernels wrap up the series at Quad Cities.
With the game tied 4-4, the Kernels brought 13 men to the plate and scored eight times on 10 hits in the eighth inning to move ahead 12-4. Tyler Grimes came up with the go-ahead base hit - a RBI double down the third base line- that put the Kernels in front for good. That was enough to win, but the offense didn't stop there. Candido Pimentel followed with a RBI single to put the Kernels up by a pair. Byron Buxton's two-run double put the Kernels up 8-4. Jorge Polanco followed with a RBI double to put the Kernels up by five runs. A Dalton Hicks RBI single made the score 10-4. Adam Brett Walker singled for his second hit in the inning, driving in a run. A RBI by Tyler Grimes extended the Kernels lead to 12-4.
Quad Cities had tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-out, two-run home run by Jesse Wierzbicki.
The two teams traded runs through the first three innings. A RBI sacrifice fly by Dalton Hicks got the Kernels on the board early in the first inning. The River Bandits tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning when Carlos Correa scored on an error by Jorge Polanco at shortstop.
Quad Cities took a 2-1 lead in the second inning on a RBI single by Teoscar Hernandez, but the Kernels quickly tied the game 2-2 in the third inning on Jorge Polanco's RBI single.
The Kernels scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-2 lead. Travis Harrison's solo home run to deep left put the Kernels in front by a run while a RBI single by Dalton Hicks put the Kernels up by a pair.
Steve Gruver (4-1) collected the win for the Kernels, going three innings in relief. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out two and walking one. Jose Berrios started, going six innings. He allowed two unearned runs on three hits while striking out six and walking three.
Mike Hauschild (4-1) took the loss for the Bandits in three innings of work. He allowed four runs on six hits.
Thursday, June 13 @ Quad Cities River Bandits (Astros) 7:00 p.m. Modern Woodmen Park
Cedar Rapids: RHP Christian Powell (0-1, 10.80) v. Quad Cities: RHP Jordan Jankowski (2-0, 3.38)
Radio: KMRY 1450 AM/93.1 FM & www.kernels.com
NEXT HOME GAME: Friday, June 14 v. Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals) - 6:35 p.m.
Promotions: Kernels Friday Mug Club, presented by 98.1 KHAK! Buy a reusable 16 oz. mug of regular draft beer or soda for $6 & get refills for just $3 every Friday home game! It's also Superman Movie Theme Night, and the first 1,000 fans receive a free Kernels/Superman T-Shirt!
Tickets: Available at www.kernels.com or at the Kernels Ticket Office at Veterans Memorial Stadium, 319-896-7650 (Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-2)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.