CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Royce Lewis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft, went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and one run batted in during his Cedar Rapids Kernels debut and a 9-1 Kernels win Saturday against the Quad Cities River Bandits in front of 4,002 fans at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Lewis produced his first career four-hit game and also added a stolen base in his first outing with the Kernels (22-26, 61-57). He was the top selection in this year's draft by the Minnesota Twins and previously played for the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Twins. Lewis is the first No. 1 overall pick ever promoted to Cedar Rapids.
Shane Carrier put Cedar Rapids in front, 2-0, within the second inning. After a leadoff walk by Caleb Hamilton, Carrier crushed a two-run blast out of the ballpark to left field. The go-ahead home run was Carrier's fourth round-tripper for the Kernels.
Lewin Diaz drove in Lewis in the third for a 3-0 Kernels advantage. Lewis led off with a single and advanced on a groundout by Aaron Whitefield. Following a single from Jimmy Kerrigan, Diaz delivered a sacrifice fly to bring Lewis in from third base.
Quad Cities (31-17, 68-48) tallied a run in the top of the fourth but gave up a run later in the inning. Chas McCormick's RBI force out drove in Daz Cameron and trimmed the River Bandits' deficit to 3-1. In the home half of the frame, Joe Cronin scored on a single by Lewis and increased the Kernels' lead to 4-1.
Cedar Rapids also scored during each of the next three innings to secure a 9-1 advantage. Kerrigan registered his third Kernels homer on a solo shot in the fifth. Whitefield hit an RBI single in the sixth, and Kerrigan added a sacrifice fly. Cronin bounced into an RBI force out within the seventh before Jordan Gore recorded an RBI triple. The Kernels plated at least one run in six consecutive innings Saturday.
Anthony Marzi (4-2) earned the win for Cedar Rapids against Quad Cities' Patrick Sandoval (1-2). Marzi limited the River Bandits to one run and four hits over six innings pitched while notching a quality start and a victory. Sandoval took the loss after allowing four runs and six hits in four frames. He also picked up a game-high five strikeouts.
This four-game homestand wraps up Sunday at 2:05 p.m. with Kernels left-hander Charlie Barnes (1-0, 0.00) scheduled to start against River Bandits right-hander Gabriel Valdez (3-0, 3.68). 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.
Western Fraternal Life Kids Eat Free Sunday, Travel Advisors Baseball Bingo, and the Coors Light Bike to the Ballpark are just some of the many events scheduled for the homestand finale. The first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a free Kernels Team Photo. After the game, fans can run the bases, play catch in the outfield, and get autographs from the Kernels on the field courtesy of Prairie Farms and 104.5 KDAT. Sunday is also 1,000-Minute Reader Recognition Day for the 19th Annual Kernels Summer Reading Program presented by Toyota Financial Services. Plus, Safety Day includes the opportunity for children to be fitted for free bike helmets.
Fans can purchase 2017 Kernels regular season and playoff tickets 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.