Great Lakes Tops Cedar Rapids Thursday
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - A two-strike, two-out, two-run single from Leonel Valera lifted the Great Lakes Loons from a 1-0 deficit toward a 3-1 win Thursday against the Cedar Rapids Kernels in front of 2,692 fans at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Trevor Casanova drove Cedar Rapids (12-8, 51-39) to a 1-0 advantage within the fifth inning. Casanova belted a leadoff home run off the Scratch & Dent "Free Fridge" sign near the right-field foul pole for his second round-tripper in as many days.
Valera's seventh-inning single put Great Lakes (10-10, 53-34) ahead for good. Batting with two runners in scoring position, he hit a line drive to left field. Casanova made a diving play, but base umpire A.J. Choc ruled that the ball bounced and was not caught on the fly. Matt Cogen and James Outman scored during the single as the Loons surged in front, 2-1.
Chris Roller increased the lead to 3-1 in the ninth. His bases-loaded single plated Outman, but Luke Heyer was thrown out on a relay from Casanova to Ricky De La Torre to Alex Isola that kept Great Lakes from adding another insurance run.
Jose Chacin (7-6) notched his Midwest League-high-tying seventh win for the Loons. He allowed just one run over five innings and set down 11 consecutive hitters to end the game. Prior to Chacin, Jack Little and Justin Bruihl combined for four scoreless innings of work.
Luis Rijo (2-6) gave up two runs in 6.2 innings pitched and suffered the loss. Rijo tallied a game-high six strikeouts and registered his third quality start this season.
Great Lakes is now 2-0 in this three-game series at Cedar Rapids. The Loons will try for a road sweep against the Kernels which swept a three-game set at Dow Diamond last year.
Friday's series finale between Cedar Rapids and Great Lakes is slated for 6:35 p.m. at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kernels right-hander Josh Winder (6-1, 2.32) and Loons southpaw John Rooney (4-2, 2.96) are the probable pitchers, and Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY FM and also online at www.kmryradio.com, www.kernels.com, and MiLB.TV. Mediacom MC22 will also cover the contest on a tape-delayed basis.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates Friday receive a vial of liquid luck for Harry Potter Night. The Kernels will wear Harry Potter-themed jerseys sponsored by Planet Fitness that will be auctioned off during the game to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Friday is also the first night of the Freedom From Hunger Food Drive. Kernels Friday Mug Club Night, presented by Stadium Bar & Grill, Shuey's Restaurant & Lounge, Mr. B's, Mulligan's Pub, and Z102.9, includes an offer to buy a 16 oz. mug for $6.00 that can be used for $3.00 refills at every Kernels Friday home game.
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.
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