Late Charge Propels Kernels Past Chiefs
Peoria, IL - A seventh-inning surge lifted the Cedar Rapids Kernels over the Chiefs 5-3 Thursday night.
The Chiefs scored the first run of the ballgame for the third time in as many games. Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Tyler Reichenborn. Reichenborn's sacrifice fly put the Chiefs ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
Peoria starter Colin Schmid pitched through his first three innings without any trouble as he allowed only two baserunners. He ran into trouble in the fourth inning as two straight singles led off the inning and put runners on first and second base. A third straight single off the bat of Matt Wallner plated the first Cedar Rapids runner of the night to knot the game at 1-1. Schmid was pulled in favor of Michael YaSenka, who proceeded to strike out the next three batters to escape the jam.
Peoria did not record their first hit until the sixth inning despite scoring a run in the second. The team's first hit came in the form of a ringing double off Jordan Walker's bat. Walker's double sparked Thomas Francisco's RBI single that put the Chiefs back in front 2-1. Francisco swiped third base in the next at bat, which paid off after Todd Lott's RBI single extended the Peoria advantage to 3-1.
Despite allowing only three baserunners in his first three innings of work, YaSenka ran into tough luck to begin the top of the seventh inning. Lott's error put a runner on second base to start the inning. YaSenka then walked two straight batters to load the bases for the Kernels. With YaSenka lifted in favor of Fabian Blanco, Edouard Julien proceeded to smash a bases-clearing double to put the Kernels out in front 4-3. Later, a sac fly made it 5-3.
From there, the Cedar Rapids bullpen locked the game down. Osiris German picked up the win, while Zach Featherstone recorded the save. The duo combined for 3.2 scoreless innings and struck out six.
The final home series continues Friday with game four of six. Right-hander Logan Gragg will toe the rubber for the Chiefs. As part of T-Mobile Fan Appreciation Week, all healthcare workers receive a free ticket with a valid ID badge.
The Chiefs announced their 2022 schedule on Tuesday. Dozer Park will play host to 66 games next season. The 2022 home opener is set for Tuesday, April 12 against the Great Lakes Loons, the High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Season ticket packages and promotions will be announced at a later date.
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