CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Kernels started the second half the season as victims of a 1-hit performance by the Beloit Snappers pitching staff in a 7-0 defeat.
Beloit scored in each of the game's first four innings for a commanding early margin.
The Snappers loaded the bases before recording an out in the first frame, but only one run scored when Drew Leachman grounded into a 6-4-3 double play - 1 of 3 twin killings turned by the Kernels defense.
Beloit added another in the second with a 2-out double by Nate Roberts that scored Tyler Grimes.
The big Beloit inning came in the third, when the first three hitters all scored. A lead-off walk to Miguel Sano proved costly after two consecutive singles by Leachman and Steven Liddle. Leachman would score on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, while Liddle found his way to the plate via a Grimes sacrifice fly.
The Snappers manufactured one more in the fourth inning after Roberts was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved the third on a fielder's choice, and scored on a wild pitch.
The final visitor run wasn't until the eighth inning, when the Snappers 8-9 hitters of Matt Koch and Grimes lead-off the inning with a single and an RBI double. Kernels reliever Carmine Giardina then struck out the top of the Beloit order to end the inning. Giardina struck out a total of five Snappers over three innings.
The Kernels only hit came in the first inning. The second Cedar Rapids hitter of the game, Eric Stamets, singled to right center but was stranded at first base after two more outs.
David Hurlbut (3-0) went seven innings for the Snappers win, allowing one hit while striking out four and walking three. Tim Atherton and Corey Williams both threw scoreless frames.
Cam Bedrosian (2-6) took the loss for the Kernels, allowing five runs over three innings of work. He struck out none and walked four. Logan Odom allowed one run over two innings. Mike Johnson and Aaron Meade combined for a scoreless inning.
The Kernels continue the series with Beloit on Saturday evening at 6:35 p.m. The team will wear special jerseys as part of Autism Awareness Night that will be sold via a silent auction. Proceeds will benefit Autism Awareness. A spectacular fireworks show, presented by Procter and Gamble, will follow the game!
Morgan Hawk brings you the action on the radio home of Kernels baseball, KMRY. Listen at 1450 AM or 93.1 FM, as well as www.kernels.com and www.kmryradio.com.
Tickets are available online at www.kernels.com or by calling the Kernels box office at 896-7560. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.