CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Travis Harrison slammed a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Kernels defeated the Great Lakes Loons, 8-7, on Saturday night.
Harrison, normally the Kernels' starting third baseman, was the last position player to be used and he took full advantage. The Kernels have now won 6 straight games.
Harrison's hit was initially thought to be a grand slam - the ball was blasted into the pavilion in left field - but the umpires ruled that the runners on 1st and 2nd (Dalton Hicks and Adam Brett Walker) didn't "make an attempt to advance" as celebration ensued, so only one run counted. Hicks and Walker both did not touch home plate.
Before the chaos, the Kernels (15-5) trailed 7-4 with one out and two on in the bottom of the 9th inning, but Walker hit a game-tying 3-run home run. With one swing of the bat, Walker not only sent the game to extras but also extended his hit streak to 9 games and has recorded a long ball in 4 consecutive games.
The Milwaukee, Wisc., native pushed his league-leading home run and RBI totals to 6 and 25, respectively.
The Loons pushed across 3 runs in the 1st as shortstop Corey Seager - rated as the No. 3 prospect in the Dodgers organization by Baseball America - connected for a 3-run home run after a leadoff double by Eric Smith and a single by Paul Hoenecke to put Great Lakes (10-11) up 3-0.
Seager impressed again in the 8th inning, as he hit an opposite field shot to left for a 2-run homer off of reliever Manuel Soliman, who then exited the contest. Soliman struck out 4 Loons hitters at one stage in his appearance, but allowed a leadoff walk to Kevin Ogle to begin the 8th and then Seager increased the Loon's lead to 7-4 two batters later.
Starter Mason Melotakis scattered 5 hits for 4 runs while striking out 7 and walking 4 in 5 innings. He also threw two wild pitches, which led to a Loons run in the 3rd.
Righty Tim Atherton was stellar in relief of Soliman with 3.1 innings of no-hit ball while striking out 5. David Hurlbut (2-1) picked up the victory after notching the final out of the 11th.
Infielders Niko Goodrum and Candido Pimentel both had multi-hit games for the Kernels. Goodrum finished 2-for-4 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored, the final run being the game-winner.
Sunday, April 28 - 2:05 p.m. vs. Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays)
(Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium)
Cedar Rapids: RHP Tyler Duffey (2-1, 2.29) vs. Lansing: LHP Alonzo Gonzalez (1-1, 4.32)
Radio: KMRY 1450 AM/93.1 FM & www.kernels.com
Promotions: Halfway to Halloween/Candy Drop! Kids come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume! Trick or Treating will happen on the concourse! After the game, a helicopter drops candy on the field! Also play Travel Advisors/Radisson Mall of America Baseball Bingo! Play catch in the outfield after the game, presented by 104.5 KDAT! Kennedy Wilson will be on hand for face painting!
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.