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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball

Gibbons mows down Bowling Green

At first glance, Sam Gibbons isn't all that impressive.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander isn't overpowering on the mound  but all he has done recently is win.

Gibbons had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 28 1/3 on Saturday night. However, those runs came in his final inning of work as he went seven, allowing six hits and one earned run as the Kernels downed Bowling Green, 8-2, before a crowd of 5,391 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The solid work turned in by Gibbons hasn't gone unnoticed by his manager.

"For me, it's just his aggressiveness," said Kernels skipper Jake Mauer of Gibbons' scoreless streak. "He is locating his fast ball, moving it around, sinking it. He has got a lot of ground ball outs."



Gordon shines again, but Kernels fall

It's now okay to use the words "Nick Gordon" and "Kernels MVP" in the same sentence.

Gordon belted his first home run of the season and went 3-for-5 Friday night, but it wasn't enough to keep the sloppy Kernels from dropping a 7-5 verdict to Bowling Green before 3,850 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Gordon, a 19-year-old shortstop, was hitting about .220 in the middle of the season, but he's turned on the jets and is hitting a healthy .277 now with 29 games left in the regular season.

Gordon ranks 1st, 2nd or 3rd in numerous offensive categories for Cedar Rapids and is putting a solid season together in his second year in pro ball. The "MVP" chant has not begun at Perfect Game Field yet, but it might soon.

"Nick and Eddie Corcino would probably be 1 and 1A," Manager Jake Mauer said after the MPVs on his club. "Both those guys have been huge for us.

"Nick has really come on. He's taking the steps that we were hoping for in April when the year began. He's raised his average 60 points. That's hard to do late in the year."

Gordon has gone 9-for-14 in his last four games, including a walk-off pinch-hit single in a 5-4 victory over Dayton Thursday night. He has 48 RBIs, trailing only Zack Larson, despite normally hitting in the No. 2 spot in the order.



Anderson joins Kernels pitching staff

The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Minnesota Twins announced Friday that right-hander Nick Anderson has been signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent and assigned to the Kernels roster.

The Milwaukee Brewers originally drafted Anderson in the 32nd round in 2012 from Mayville State University in North Dakota. This season he has made 25 relief appearances for the Frontier Greys in the independent Frontier League, posting a 2-0 record, 0.65 ERA and 13 saves.

Anderson is active and available for Friday night's home game against Bowling Green.


Gordon delivers in pinch for Kernels

It only seemed like Kernels shortstop Nick Gordon would get his first night off in more than two weeks Thursday against Dayton.

He was not in the starting lineup, but nearly three hours later Gordon’s night-off was cut short when he was called on to pinch-hit with two outs and the Kernels’ potential winning run on third base in a 4-4 game.

Gordon worked a full count, then laced a single to left field to drive in Zack Larson with the winning and begin the celebration in a 5-4 victory before 2,935 fans in Veterans Memorial Stadium

Gordon said he had a couple of walk-off hits in high school. “In pro ball, that was really my first real walk-off,” he remarked.

Gordon was not surprised to get a chance in a clutch situation.



Jorge has rough outing for Kernels

Feliz Jorge has spoiled Cedar Rapids Kernels fans this season with a long string of outstanding performances on the pitching mound, so it comes as a small jolt whenever he struggles a little bit.

It happened for the second straight game Wednesday night.

Jorge surrendered six runs in six innings and the Kernels lost to Dayton, 8-3, before 3,312 fans in a Midwest League game at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Jorge, a talented 21-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic, allowed seven runs in 5 1/3 innings in his previous outing July 29 against Clinton. Prior to that, he mowed everybody down on a regular basis.

Jorge was touched for two home runs in the second inning when Dayton scored five times for a 5-0 lead. He was nicked for an unearned run in the third inning, then settled down and finished the night with three scoreless innings.



Curtiss replaces Booser with Kernels

The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Minnesota Twins announced Wednesday that right-hander John Curtiss has been activated from the 7-day Disabled List and left-hander Cam Booser has been placed on the 7-day DL with a left shoulder impingement.

Curtiss went on the DL May 26 with a right forearm strain. He has made seven starts for the Kernels, posting a 2-3 record and 5.87 ERA.

Booser has made 32 relief appearances, posting a 1-2 record, 3.72 ERA and notching 10 saves. He has 69 strikeouts and 40 walks in 46 innings.



English goes 5-for-5 as Kernels roll

Tanner English entered Tuesday’s game with the Dayton Dragons having reached base in 14 consecutive games for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Kernels’ leadoff batter wasted no time making it 15 straight and proceeded to enjoy a special game.

English led off the home half of the first inning with a double to right-center field and went 5-for-5 in an 8-1 victory over Dayton before 2,807 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

English became the first Kernel to collect five hits in a ballgame since Byron Buxton went 5-for-6 against Quad Cities on June 5, 2013. He also became the first Kernel to collect three doubles in one game this season.



Kernels make 3 roster moves

The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Minnesota Twins announced Monday that pitcher Luke Westphal has been promoted to Fort Myers, infielder Sean Miller has been placed on the 7-day Disabled List with a thumb injury and infielder T.J. White has rejoined the Kernels from Fort Myers.

Westphal pitched in seven games (six starts) for the Kernels this season, posting a 1-2 record and 2.70 ERA. The Twins signed him as a non-drafted free agent Jan. 31.

Miller has played in 13 games for the Kernels, batting .318 with a double and two RBIs. He was selected by the Twins in the 10th round of the 2015 draft from the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

White was assigned to Fort Myers on July 10 and played in 20 games, batting .171 with a double and two RBIs. He played in 74 games for the Kernels earlier this season, batting .230 with 10 doubles, five triples  and 26 RBIs. He was selected by the Twins in the 18th round of the 2014 draft from UNLV.


Gibbons named MWL Pitcher of the Week

The Midwest League and announced Monday that Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Sam Gibbons has been named the MWL Pitcher of the Week for the period ending Aug. 2.

Gibbons pitched a nine-inning shutout Saturday in a 7-0 win at Kane County. He scattered four hits, walked one, hit a batter and struck out nine.

The Twins signed Gibbons, who is from Australia, as an international free agent on July 2, 2011. This is his fourth season in professional baseball.

Bobby Bradley of the Lake County Captains was named the MWL Player of the Week for the same period.

Gibbons is the sixth Kernel to be honored by the Midwest League this season, joining Felix Jorge, Stephen Gonsalves, Trey Vavra, Max Murphy and Keaton Steele.


Kernels playoff tickets on sale now

Tickets for the Cedar Rapids Kernels' first-round playoff game against the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday, Sept. 9 are on sale now through the Kernels Ticket Office and online at

The Kernels qualified for the Midwest League playoffs as the first half Western Division wild card team and will play Quad Cities, the first half Western Division champion, in a best-of-three series with Game 1 at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 6:35 p.m.

Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be played in Davenport.

Playoff ticket prices are the same as the 2015 regular season if purchased in advance: $11 for Premier Seats, $10 for Club Seats, $8 for Plaza Seats and $7 for Lawn Seating. All tickets increase by $1 the day of the playoff game.


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