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 Cedar Rapids Kernels

Kernels Score 12 Times, Crush Captains 12-1

August 31, 2023 - Midwest League (MWL)
Cedar Rapids Kernels News Release

Cedar Rapids, IA - After being shut out through the first four innings, the Cedar Rapids offense scored five times in the fifth Thursday night and never looked back, taking down Lake County for the third straight night, 12-1.

In the game that started as a pitcher's dual, C.J. Culpepper made his ninth Cedar Rapids start and was sharp from the jump. After only lasting an inning in a loss last time out, Culpepper went 4.2 scoreless, allowing just two hits with five strikeouts on Thursday.

His counterpart, Ethan Hankins, was just as good for Lake County. The right-hander went four scoreless innings with six strikeouts.

With Hankins out of the game, Cedar Rapids broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning. Five straight walks opened the inning, scoring two Kernels runs. Then, with the bases loaded, two balks brought home two more runs to make it a 4-0 game. With a runner still on with two outs, Jose Salas picked up the first Kernels hit of the inning, an RBI single to put Cedar Rapids ahead 5-0 after five frames.

In the top of the sixth, Lake County got a run back. Chase DeLauter smoked a double to open the inning; then, after he moved to third on a flyout, Cooper Ingle drove him home with a groundout to cut the Cedar Rapids edge to 5-1.

But that would be the closest the Captains would get. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Noah Miller and Ben Ross took back-to-back one-out walks, putting two on for Kala'i Rosario, who crushed his 19th home run of the season on a ripping line drive to set the Kernels ahead 8-1.

In the seventh, Luke Keaschall and Salas picked up back-to-back singles to open the frame, then Kyler Fedko added an RBI with a single of his own. After Jeferson Morales then walked to load the bases, Miller picked up an RBI with a fielder's choice, as did Ross on a sac fly to put the Kernels up by ten, 11-1.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Andrew Cossetti continued his hot stretch by belting his ninth Kernels home run of the season, a solo shot to put Cedar Rapids up 12-1, the score which would be the final.

On the mound, after Culpepper exited, Ricardo Velez picked up his first Kernels win in his first Cedar Rapids appearance, allowing just one run on one hit in 2.1 innings. Behind him, Gabriel Yanez spun back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in both the eighth and ninth frames to close out the victory.

In win is the Kernels (78-45) fifth in a row and third straight to begin the series with Lake County (59-61). Game four of the series is set for Friday at 6:35, with Alejandro Hidalgo on the mound for Cedar Rapids opposite Aaron Davenport.

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