BELOIT, Wis. - The Beloit Snappers executed a safety squeeze bunt in the eighth inning to down the Kernels 3-2 at Pohlman Field on Sunday afternoon. The regular season finale is tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.
Jesus Lopez laid down the RBI sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning to plate Josh Vidales and give the Snappers the 3-2 lead. Vidales started the inning with a single. He took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Martin.
The Kernels threatened in the ninth inning, but a double play ended the game. A two-base throwing error put Ben Rortvedt at second base with no outs. Shane Kennedy walked to put two on. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. With one out, Amaurys Minier popped a ball in foul territory behind first base. Snappers first baseman Miguel Mercedes made an over-the-shoulder-catch to retire Minier. He then threw home to nail Rortvedt at home and complete the double play, ending the game.
The Kernels jumped in front 1-0 in the first inning when Caleb Hamilton's RBI single to left-center scored Trey Cabbage with two outs.
The Snappers got on the board and took a 2-1 lead with one swing in the sixth inning. With two on and two outs, J.C. Rodriguez ripped a two-run double to left-center. It scored both Luke Persico and Lopez, giving the Snappers the lead.
Cedar Rapids tied the game 2-2 in the top of the eighth inning with a pair of doubles. Jordan Gore started the inning with a double to right-center. Travis Blankenhorn then crushed a RBI double to deep center, scoring Gore and tying the game.
Blankenhorn now has at least one RBI in eight of his last nine games.
Ty Damron (5-5) earned the win after going 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. Ryan Mason (1-2) took the loss, allowing one run on one hit over one inning.
Randy Dobnak went seven innings in his debut for the Kernels. He allowed two runs on six hits, striking out one and walking one. Zack Erwin started and went six innings for Beloit. He allowed one unearned run on just two hits, striking out five and walking one. Both starters earned a no-decision.
The two teams wrap up the regular season in Beloit tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The Kernels have not announced officially announced a starting pitcher while Beloit will start RHP Seth Martinez (4-10, 3.77).
Cedar Rapids opens up the 2017 Midwest League playoffs at home on Wednesday night against the Kane County Cougars, the Midwest League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch of the best of three series is at 6:35 p.m. Game two and three, if necessary, will be played at Kane County.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.kernels.com or through the Kernels Ticket Office at 319-896-7560. The Kernels Ticket Office is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 am. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Fans can listen to the play-by-play action on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM, as well as online at www.kernels.com and www.kmryradio.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.