Kernels K.O. LumberKings, 8-2
CLINTON, IOWA - The Cedar Rapids Kernels recorded a season-high 20 strikeouts Saturday at LumberKings Stadium within an 8-2 victory against the Clinton LumberKings. Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, and Jose Martinez combined to set the new high mark while Cedar Rapids (20-22) secured a season-high four-game win streak along with a 3-0 edge in this four-game series.
Sands (2-1) led the way with a career-high 10 strikeouts in a winning start. He allowed eight hits but only surrendered one run while becoming the first Cedar Rapids pitcher to tally double-digit strikeouts this season. Sands posted a pair of strikeouts in each of his five frames and gave up his only run during an RBI triple from Sean Reynolds in the first inning.
Schulfer and Martinez teamed up for the final 10 strikeouts against Clinton (19-21). Schulfer established his own personal high by striking out the final eight batters that he faced to finish two consecutive strikeouts shy of the Midwest League record. Martinez allowed an RBI triple to Ricardo Cespedes in the ninth but also struck out two hitters within the final frame.
The Kernels rallied from an early 1-0 deficit and took the lead for good during the second inning. Ben Rodriguez scored the game-tying run via wild pitch, and Gabriel Maciel broke the tie with an RBI single. Maciel added another run-scoring single in the fourth to stretch the advantage to 3-1.
Within the sixth, Cedar Rapids tallied three more runs for a 6-1 lead. A wild pitch allowed Andrew Bechtold to score the first run of the inning. Albee Weiss delivered an RBI double and later scored on Gilberto Celestino's RBI single.
Bechtold capped an eight-run swing for the Kernels with a two-run triple in the ninth inning. Cedar Rapids produced 15 hits to match a season high that was set April 16 against the Quad Cities River Bandits.
George Soriano (0-4) took the loss Saturday evening. He was tagged for six runs in five-plus frames as Clinton's starting pitcher.
Sunday's series finale will begin at 2:00 p.m., and Cedar Rapids right-hander Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97) is expected to pitch against Clinton right-hander Tanner Andrews (0-1, 3.77). Chris Kleinhans-Schulz will call the game on 1450 KMRY AM and 93.1 KMRY and also online at www.kmryradio.com and www.kernels.com.
Cedar Rapids' next homestand runs from Monday, May 20 through Monday, May 27. 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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