Early Offense and Enlow Lead Kernels over Snappers
BELOIT, Wis. - The Kernels secured their third straight series win with an 8-4 victory at Beloit on Wednesday night at Pohlman Field. Cedar Rapids jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a five-run second inning. Blayne Enlow (3-5) struck out eight Snappers over five innings on the mound.
Cedar Rapids (69-59, 37-22) has now won four straight games on the road trip and owns the league's best record in the second half. They will go for the series sweep at Beloit on Thursday night and try to match their high-water mark of 11 games over .500.
Akil Baddoo hit his 11th home run and collected his league-high 11th triple of the season, both within the first two innings. Trevor Larnach went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. The team combined to record eight extra-base hits on the night.
Baddoo's triple to deep center led off the game. He quickly scored on Michael Helman's RBI double to the opposite field in right. Helman later scored in the first inning on Trey Cabbage's RBI double that hit high off the wall in center, making the score 2-0.
Cedar Rapids sent nine to the plate, scored five times and took a commanding 7-0 lead. Michael Davis started the frame with a double. Two batters later, Baddoo smashed a two-run home run to right field and extended the lead to 4-0. Three batters later, Larnach pushed the lead to 5-0 with a RBI single to left-center. Ben Rodriguez capped off the inning with a two-run triple to the right-center gap, giving the Kernels an early seven-run advantage. By collecting his first triple of the season, Rodriguez extended his consecutive on-base streak to 13 games.
Beloit (63-63, 31-26) got on the board in the third inning with a RBI single by Lazaro Armenteros, making the score 7-1. Enlow prevented further damage by striking out two with the bases loaded. Enlow again used back to back strikeouts to help get out of a jam in the fifth inning after the first two batters reached base.
Enlow allowed a single run on four hits over five innings in the win. He struck out a career-high eight, walked one and hit two batters.
Jean Ruiz (5-10) allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in four innings of work, taking the loss for Beloit.
The Snappers cut the lead to 7-4 with one run in the sixth and two runs in the eighth against reliever Jared Finkel, who lasted 2.2 innings. Ryan Gridley's RBI single plated a run in the sixth. The Snappers put together a rally in the eighth but had to settle for just a pair of runs. After a RBI groundout by Jordan Devencenzi, a RBI single by Armenteros cut the lead to three. Beloit would have brought the tying run to the plate, but Armenteros was thrown out at second base on the play. Armenteros reached four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Larnach gave the Kernels an insurance run in the ninth inning with a solo home run to right field, pushing the lead to 8-4. It was his second long ball in his 15th game with the team.
Derek Molina recorded the final four outs to earn his second save. He allowed no runs on one hit.
The series at Beloit concludes on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Melvi Acosta (2-4, 2.56) is scheduled to start for the Kernels against Beloit's Gus Varland (0-0, 0.00). Fans can listen to the action on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM, as well as online at www.kernels.com and www.kmryradio.com.
The Kernels return home on Friday night to host the Kane County Cougars at 6:35 p.m. It's Hawkeye Night! Fans are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite Black and Gold apparel. The first 1,000 fans through the gates receive a FREE Black & Gold baseball. The Kernels will be wearing special Blackout-themed jerseys, sponsored by the Linn County I-Club. The jerseys will be sold via a silent auction during the game with the proceeds benefitting the Linn County I-Club. Winning bidders can go on the field after the game and have their jersey signed by the player that wore it. It's also another Kernels Friday Mug Club Night. Buy a refillable 16 oz. mug of regular draft beer or soda for just $6 and get $3 refills at the concession stands. Bring the mug back for $3 refills every Friday home game, thanks to Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Red's Public House, Mulligan's Pub, and Z 102.9!
Fans can purchase tickets for all Cedar Rapids 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.
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