Friday, June 09, 2023
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball

Kernels fall short at Kane County

GENEVA, Ill. - The Kane County Cougars overcame a three-run deficit to claim the rubber game of their three-game series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5-4, Sunday afternoon before 6,338 fans at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Cedar Rapids (62-45) took the opening lead for the fourth straight game with three runs in the top of the second. Zack Larson was hit in the shoulder to start the inning. Brett Doe singled to left-center, giving the Kernels runners on the corners.

Tyler Kuresa drove in the Kernels' first run with an RBI single to left field, plating Larson from third. Alex Real followed Kuresa with an RBI fielder's choice, bringing in Doe from third.

Back-to-back singles by Brian Navarreto and Austin Diemer loaded the bases full of Kernels. Rafael Valera extended the Cedar Rapids lead to 3-0 with an RBI fielder's choice, scoring Real.

Kane County (64-41) cut the Cedar Rapids lead to 3-1 with a two-out run in the bottom of the fifth. The Cougars went in front of the Kernels, 5-3, with four runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Edgar Corcino made it a 5-4 contest with a solo home run to center in the top of the eighth for Cedar Rapids. The homer for Corcino was his third of the season.



Gibbons tosses shutout for Kernels

GENEVA, Ill. - Sam Gibbons painted a masterpiece on the mound for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Saturday night.

Gibbons tossed a four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts as the Kernels blanked Kane County, 7-0, in a Midwest League game before 9,181 fans at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, Ill.

Gibbons pitched all nine innings and threw 110 pitches, including 76 for strikes. He walked only one batter and did not allow any extra-base hits.

Gibbons, 21, from Australia, has tossed 20 consecutive scoreless innings in his last three starts for Cedar Rapids. He raised his record to 5-2 with a 3.14 ERA.



Kernels fan 13 times in loss

GENEVA, Ill. – Josh Taylor pitched a complete game with no walks and 13 strikeouts as the Kane County Cougars topped the Cedar Rapids Kernels 5-1 in front of 8,244 fans Friday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

The Kernels managed nine hits, but Taylor (2-1) minimized the damage and lowered his ERA to 1.67.

Nick Gordon singled in the first inning for Cedar Rapids, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a single by Edgar Corcino and scored on a single by Zack Larson to give the Kernels a 1-0 lead early. But it was all Cougars for the rest of the night.

Elvin Soto hit a solo home run for Kane County (63-40), and Colin Bray, Ryan Gebhardt and Quinnton Mack each had two hits.

Tanner English doubled for Cedar Rapids (61-44), and Corcino and Brett Doe each hit 2-for-4.

Randy Rosario (1-2) pitched six innings for the loss with nine hits, four earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts.

The series continues at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.



Kernels take series from Clinton

CLINTON - The Cedar Rapids Kernels claimed their third straight series with a 9-5 win over the Clinton LumberKings on Thursday night before 2,086 fans at Ashford University Field.

Every Kernels hitter except one recorded at least one hit in the series finale.

Ethan Mildren (4-1) earned the win in relief. Mildren allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings.

Jared Wilson recorded the save. The right-hander yielded one hit and two walks while striking out a pair in 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Zack Tillery finished with a no-decision in his start for Cedar Rapids. The right-hander did not allow a hit through the first three innings and allowed two runs on two hits and four walks while striking out five over 3 2/3 innings.

Tyler Herb (4-8) suffered the loss for Clinton. The right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out a pair in six innings.

Cedar Rapids (61-43) struck first with a two-out run in the top of the first. Nick Gordon recorded the first hit of the evening with a two-out double down the left field line.

Zack Larson followed Gordon with an RBI single down the right field line, plating Gordon from second. The RBI for Larson was his team-leading 47th of the year.




LumberKings blast Kernels, 11-4

CLINTON - After a string of quality starts, Cedar Rapids' Felix Jorge couldn't find his best stuff on Wednesday night.

The Kernels ace was roughed up for seven runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work as Clinton rolled to an 11-4 win at Ashford University Field.

Austin Cousino was the hitting star for the LumberKings, rapping out a double and a triple. Brock Hebert made his Clinton debut with a pair of doubles. Gianfranco Wawoe had three hits and three RBIs.

The Kernels (60-43) kept it close early, trailing just 5-3 after three innings. Catcher Brian Navarreto had a two-run single in the second and Zach Larson drove home a run with a third-inning double.

Jorge (5-4) did strike out seven and walked two.



Larson lifts Kernels by Clinton

CLINTON - Zack Larson drove in Tanner English with a clutch double in the 10th inning Tuesday night as the Cedar Rapids Kernels trimmed Clinton, 4-3, before 760 fans at Ashford University Field.

English was hit by a pitch to begin the winning rally.

Randy LeBlanc (7-3) picked up the victory in relief for the Kernels. Cam Booser struck out two batters in the 10th inning for his 10th save. Kernels starter Keaton Steele pitched 4.2 shutout innings.

The Kernels built a 3-0 lead after four innings on RBIs by Nick Gordon, Brian Navarreto and Pat Kelly. Clinton rallied for a single run in the seventh inning and two runs in the eighth to force extra innings.

Rafael Valera had two hits for Cedar Rapids.

The Kernels (60-42) and Clinton (32-69) meet again at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.



Kuresa delivers in clutch for Kernels

Tyler Kuresa glanced into the Kernels dugout in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday afternoon to see if Manager Jake Mauer was going to replace him with a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and one out.

Mauer stuck with Kuresa and everyone was glad he did.

Kuresa hit a single up the middle to snap a 4-4 tie and give Cedar Rapids a 5-4 victory over Beloit before 3,034 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Kuresa is a left-handed hitter and Beloit had a left-handed pitcher on the mound, so Mauer could have played the odds and used a right-handed batter in that situation. But Kuresa already had two hits Sunday and Mauer elected to stay with his 22-year-old first baseman, who has bounced around this season between Cedar Rapids, Fort Myers, Elizabethton and back to Cedar Rapids.

Kuresa was glad Mauer had confidence in him to deliver.

"It made me feel really good, especially with a lefty on the mound," said Kuresa. "He had gotten the best of me the at-bat before, so it felt really good. I'm just glad I could come through."

Jose Torres gave Kuresa a 1-1 fastball that he could hit. It was a sharp single up the middle, driving in Tanner English with the winning run from third base.

"I'm glad I was the one at the plate," said Kuresa. "I tried to do the best with the opportunity and I got lucky, I guess. When the infield is in, a lot of times if you just hit it hard you're going to get it through."



Gibbons pays price for Kernels victory

Cedar Rapids pitcher Sam Gibbons was easy to spot in the Kernels clubhouse after the game Saturday night.

He was the lanky Australian with a red blotch on the upper part of his chest near his heart, thanks to a scary line drive that deflected off his body during the second inning against Beloit.

Gibbons, stunned by the shot, had the presence of mind to chase the ball and get the out at first base before getting a chance to catch his breath. "I just wanted to get the out, I guess," he said.

Gibbons bravely stayed in the game and pitched six strong innings as the Kernels blanked the Snappers, 3-0, before a fireworks night crowd of 4,118 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.



Kernels stumble against Snappers, 13-7

Baseball is a challenging game at any professional level, but it gets much tougher when you give up five unearned runs in the first inning before anyone on your team gets their hands on a bat.

That was the hole the Cedar Rapids Kernels dug themselves into Friday night as the Beloit Snappers struck for a five-spot in the opening stanza en route to a 13-7 thumping of the Kernels in front of 3,347 fans on “Minions Night” at Veterans Memorial Stadium.



Red-hot English powers Kernels

Cedar Rapids Kernels center fielder Tanner English entered this week with just two home runs on the season, but he’s showing his power this week, even if it’s not what his coaches are asking him to do.

English hit his third home run in the past four games Thursday night, contributing to the Kernels’ 6-5 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, as 2,457 fans saw the locals complete a sweep of their three game series with the Rattlers at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

English nearly didn’t get the chance to use his bat Thursday.

He dove for a line drive off the bat of Wisconsin’s Greg McCall in the top of the first inning, came up short and crashed face-first in the left-center field turf. After taking several minutes to get the bleeding around his nose stopped, English returned to center field.



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