CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Batterymates Griffin Jax and Ben Rortvedt carried the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 12-4 win Saturday against the Lansing Lugnuts in front of 3,375 fans at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Jax was the winning pitcher in his final Kernels appearance, and Rortvedt posted
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - Batterymates Griffin Jax and Ben Rortvedt carried the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 12-4 win Saturday against the Lansing Lugnuts in front of 3,375 fans at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Jax was the winning pitcher in his final Kernels appearance, and Rortvedt posted a career-high four runs batted in to lead the offense.
Jax (2-1), a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, earned a quality start and a victory to close his tenure with the Kernels (13-16, 52-47). He only allowed two runs over 6.2 innings and added three strikeouts. Jax was pitching during his 60 days of leave following graduation, and he will report to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this month.
Rortvedt highlighted an 8-0 start for Cedar Rapids by driving in four early runs. A first-inning sacrifice fly from Lewin Diaz and a second-inning RBI single by Christian Cavaness produced the Kernels' first tallies, but Rortvedt stretched the lead to 5-0 in the third with a three-run home run. Three more runs came home during the fourth. Cavaness scored on a wild pitch, Diaz hit an RBI single, and Rortvedt delivered a sacrifice fly.
Lansing (10-19, 47-48) closed the gap to 8-2 through the top of the seventh. Joshua Palacios doubled in the sixth and later scored on a groundout by Nash Knight. Rodrigo Orozco recorded a sacrifice fly in the seventh that plated Luis Silva.
In the bottom of the seventh, Trey Cabbage answered for the Kernels. Cabbage drilled a solo shot down the right-field line that extended Cedar Rapids' advantage to 9-2.
The Lugnuts and the Kernels combined for five runs in the eighth which resulted in a 12-4 Cedar Rapids lead. Yeltsin Gudino's sacrifice fly and Mattingly Romanin's RBI single gave Lansing late life. Cedar Rapids responded with two runs on an error followed by an RBI double for Caleb Hamilton.
Andy Ravel (6-5) took the loss Saturday for Lansing. Ravel was charged for eight runs over 3.1 innings pitched within the series opener.
Game two of this three-game series is slated for 2:05 p.m. Sunday. Kernels southpaw Anthony Marzi (3-0, 1.37) will square off against Lugnuts right-hander Kyle Weatherly (0-1, 12.71). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the contest 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 offers children aged 12 and under a coupon for a free hot dog, popcorn, and Capri Sun. After the contest, fans can run the bases, play catch in the outfield, and get autographs from the Kernels thanks to Prairie Farms and 104.5 KDAT. Travel Advisors Baseball Bingo includes a chance to qualify to win a trip to Minneapolis to see a Twins game. Fans that ride their bikes to the contest as part of the Coors Light Bike to the Ballpark are eligible to win two tickets to the Kernels' August 20th game and will be entered into the grand prize drawing for a Coors Light Cruiser Bicycle. Plus, Face Painting by Kennedy and Papa Balloon will both be on the concourse for Sunday's tilt.
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.