CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Cedar Rapids Kernels scored a season-high 12 runs including the final nine tallies Thursday within a 12-4 win against the South Bend Cubs at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids (19-20) earned its second consecutive victory and owns a 2-1 lead over
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Cedar Rapids Kernels scored a season-high 12 runs including the final nine tallies Thursday within a 12-4 win against the South Bend Cubs at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Cedar Rapids (19-20) earned its second consecutive victory and owns a 2-1 lead over South Bend (18-20) in this six-game series.
The Cubs built a 3-0 lead in the opening stanza that remained intact until the bottom of the fifth. Seth Gray’s RBI double broke up the shutout. Two batters later, Gabe Snyder hit an RBI single. Michael Helman followed with a game-tying sacrifice fly that leveled the contest at 3-3.
South Bend quickly jumped back in front, 4-3, during the sixth, but Cedar Rapids answered with another three-run outburst. Gray picked up a game-tying RBI walk. A wild pitch to Wander Javier allowed Gabriel Maciel to score the go-ahead run. Javier eventually produced a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels their 6-4 advantage entering the late innings.
Spencer Steer homered to cap a four-run seventh that extended the lead to 10-4 Cedar Rapids. Maciel collected an RBI single earlier in the inning. With two outs and two runners on base, Steer lifted a three-run blast into the Plumbers & Pipefitters Pavilion. He leads the Kernels with nine total home runs this year, and Cedar Rapids has now gone deep in a league-high 11 games in a row.
Two more runs in the eighth set the final score at 12-4. Smith nearly hit a grand slam, but he settled for a two-run single off the wall in left-center field. He went 5-of-5 for the first five-hit game of his professional career.
Derek Molina (2-1) tied a career high with six strikeouts over 2.2 shutout innings en route to the victory. Bryan King (0-1) was the losing pitcher after giving up all three runs in the sixth inning. King also exited with a blown save.
This 12-game Cedar Rapids homestand continues Friday evening when right-hander Ben Gross (0-0, 3.86) and the Kernels host right-hander Derek Casey (3-3, 4.04) and the Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with broadcast coverage provided by Chris Kleinhans-Schulz on www.kernels.com and MiLB.TV.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and the first 500 fans through the gates will receive a free softee baseball courtesy of Kwik Star. 16 oz. draft and canned beer and 20 oz. bottled soda or water will be two for the price one at the concession stands on Two for One Friday sponsored by 98.1 KHAK.
Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids 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 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 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 High-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.