September 12, 2017 - Midwest League (MWL) - Cedar Rapids Kernels
Kernels fall to Quad Cities in Game 3 River Bandits will play Fort Wayne in the Midwest League Championship Series
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Kernels lost 6-1 to the Quad Cities River Bandits on Monday night in Game 3 of the Western Division Championship Series. Quad Cities advances to the Midwest League Championship Series and will play the Fort Wayne Tin Caps in a best of five series.
The Kernels were held to four hits offensively on Monday night as the River Bandits took an early lead and never trailed. Kernels pitchers walked six batters on the night, and four of those runners eventually scored.
Kit Scheetz (1-0) struck out nine Kernels over 6 2/3 innings for the victory. The southpaw allowed one run, three walks and one hit.
Quad Cities took advantage of three walks in the first inning to take an early 3-0 lead. With one out, Kernels starter Tyler Wells walked three batters in a row to load the bases. Wells picked up the second out on a fly out, but a two-out double cleared the bases. Josh Rojas nearly hit a grand slam when he smashed a line drive high off the wall in right. His double scored Colin Moran, Troy Sieber and Chuckie Robinson to put the River Bandits up by three.
Following the double by Rojas, Wells retired the next eight River Bandits in a row. It was Rojas that hurt the Kernels again when he singled to right with one out in the fourth inning. A ground-rule double by J.J. Matijevic hopped over the wall in right-center, sending Rojas to third. He scored on a RBI sacrifice fly by Bryan De La Cruz, making the score 4-0.
Wells (0-1) pitched 4 1/3 innings in the loss, allowing four earned runs on three hits. He struck out three and walked three, throwing 68 pitches.
Aaron Whitefield provided the only offense for the Kernels when he hit a solo home run to left field in the seventh inning, making the score 7-1. Two batters later, Scheetz exited the game. Salvador Montano pitched threw the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit while striking out two and walking one.
Bryan Sammons provided goof relief for the Kernels. He went 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out three and walking two.
Max Cordy got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning but allowed a pair of runs on three hits in the ninth inning. Chas McCormick walked and Moran singled to put two on. A pair of two-out RBI hits gave the River Bandits some insurance and pushed their lead to 6-1. Robinson's RBI single to right plated McCormick while Kristian Trompiz's RBI single scored Moran. Logan Lombana got the final out in the ninth inning.
Whitefield led off the ninth inning with a walk, but River Bandits reliever Robert Corniel retired the next three to end the game. Whitefield reached base three of four times with the home run and two walks.
Cedar Rapids ends the season in Game 3 of the Western Division Championship for the second consecutive season. In 2016, the Kernels lost 1-0 in 11 innings at Clinton in Game 3.
Cedar Rapids opens the 2018 season at Quad Cities on Thursday, April 5. The 2018 home opener is Saturday, April 7 at 5:05 p.m. v. Quad Cities.