CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - After a one-hour, 58-minute pregame rain delay and fantastic shutout pitching, Demi Orimoloye hit a three-run home run in the 10th inning to lift the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to a 3-2 win Friday over the Cedar Rapids at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Wisconsin's Thomas Jankins and Cedar Rapids' Sean Poppen led a long scoreless start to Friday's tilt before Orimoloye's extra-inning blast helped the Timber Rattlers even this three-game series at 1-1.
Jankins took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Friday for the Timber Rattlers (4-5). A diving catch in the fifth by center fielder Ryan Aguilar robbed Ariel Montesino on a potential base hit with Caleb Hamilton on first base following a walk. The Kernels finally picked up their first hit in the sixth on a two-out double by Lewin Diaz, but that was the only hit that Jankins allowed over six shutout frames while totaling six strikeouts.
Poppen answered with a career performance of his own for Cedar Rapids (5-4). He allowed two early hits over the first two frames before holding Wisconsin hitless through the rest of his career-high 7.2 innings pitched. Poppen, who also retired 11 consecutive batters late in the game, registered a personal-best eight strikeouts while shutting down the Timber Rattlers in a quality start.
The game was scoreless entering the 10th inning before home runs highlighted the final stanza. With two on and two out in the top of the frame, Orimoloye crushed a three-run home run off Kernels reliever Alex Robinson and put Wisconsin in front. Aaron Whitefield responded in the bottom of the 10th with a two-run homer against southpaw Dan Brown, but Cedar Rapids would fail to score after that blast and lost by a final score of 3-2.
Timber Rattlers reliever Luke Barker (1-0) tossed three shutout innings prior through the ninth to pick up the win. Robinson (0-1) took the loss for Cedar Rapids while Brown was credited with his first save of the season after escaping the 10th inning.
The finale of this three-game homestand is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Saturday. Cedar Rapids will send out right-hander Alex Schick (1-0, 1.29), and Wisconsin will go with the pitching tandem of right-hander Braden Webb (0-1, 7.71) and southpaw Cameron Roegner (0-0, 18.90). Fans can follow Saturday's action on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV.
A pregame on-field Easter egg hunt will begin around 4:15 p.m., and all children aged 12 and under are invited onto the field to hunt for Easter eggs and candy. After the contest, there will be a postgame Easter egg hunt on the field for adults aged 21 and older that features several special prizes, including a grand prize of a night in a Diamond Suite.
Fans can purchase tickets for all Kernels 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.