Monday, September 01, 2014
MONDAY'S SCOREBOARD - MWL - Kernels 3, Clinton 1
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kernels have pitching issues for playoffs

The Cedar Rapids Kernels have made the Midwest League playoffs, but who's going to be their starting pitchers in those games?

Chih-Wei Hu will start the playoff opener against Burlington next week despite a shaky first inning in a 3-2 loss to Kane County Thursday night, but Manager Jake Mauer is not sure who will be available after that.

Left-handers Mat Batts, Stephen Gonsalves and Lewis Thorpe are all approaching their maximum number of innings for the season, as prescribed by the parent Minnesota Twins, and bonus baby Kohl Stewart is on the disabled list.

That leaves Hu, Ryan Eades and a bunch of question marks.

Hu allowed three runs in the first inning Thursday and walked two straight batters with the bases loaded, but he settled down after that.


Kernels clinch No. 1 seed with dramatic win

Those champagne-style bottles with the long necks had cider in them instead of the real stuff, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were too happy to care about the contents as they celebrated in their locker room Wednesday night.

All they wanted to do was spray everyone in sight, smear thick icing on their teammates and enjoy the special moment.

The Kernels clipped Kane Country, 3-2, in 11 innings before 2,005 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium to claim a No.1 seed for the Midwest League playoffs that start next Wednesday night at home against Burlington.

Those playoff tickets are now on sale.

The cider in those long-necked bottles tasted very, very sweet. There was no alcohol to be found in the clubhouse.

"We're still a young club, so we don't have everybody that's 21 yet," explained Tanner Vavra, who scored the winning run with a terrific slide. "We have to play it safe."


2014 could be 'Year of QB' in Metro

The 2014 high school football season could turn into the "Year of the Quarterback" in the Metro area this fall.

Just about every Metro team has a QB who is capable of racking up big numbers. A few of them have already done it and a few others appear on the verge of establishing themselves as big-time passers.

It could be tough to pick the All-Metro quarterback when the season ends in November, but maybe one of them will distinguish himself above the others.

Reid Snitker at Washington, Ryan Schmidt at Linn-Mar and Trey Beckman at Prairie established themselves last season. Sammy Lizarraga at Kennedy and Bryce Schulte at Xavier appear to have great promise as new starters.

And then there's Jesse Furrow, who moved into the Jefferson district from Indiana this year. He has a rocket arm and could turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Marion is starting over with Hayden Meister and Gage Kray at quarterback, while Cedar Valley Christian hopes to start winning games with Kenan Ulmer at the controls.


Thursday night football could hurt Metro

The Cedar Rapids Washington, Kennedy and Jefferson football teams could do well on the field this season and suffer at the gate.

You can blame the new district formula in Class 4A football for that.

The Warriors, Cougars and J-Hawks all share Kingston Stadium in southwest Cedar Rapids as their home field and once the season is over they split the gate receipts evenly.

The bigger the crowd, the better the receipts, and this could be a tough year at the box office for all three clubs.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association arranged the schedules for all the teams this year and one of its guiding principles was to limit travel time on school nights. In other words, they tried to avoid having teams return home at midnight on Thursday night with school the next day.

That led to some of the most attractive Metro vs. Metro games landing on Thursday nights, when crowds figure to be smaller than on Friday nights. It successfully reduces travel on school nights, but also reduces crowds and money.


Kernels can clinch No. 1 seed at home

DAVENPORT - Mitch Garver and the Cedar Rapids Kernels are coming home with a great chance to clinch a No. 1 seed for the Midwest League playoffs before their own fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Kernels tripped Quad Cities, 6-1, Tuesday night before 1,943 folks at Modern Woodmen Park to finish with a 4-2 record on their commuter road trips to Burlington and Davenport the past six days.

Cedar Rapids owns a six-game lead over Wisconsin with six games left in the regular season for the No. 1 seed in the Western Division for the second half of the campaign. That means their magic number is now 1 for getting that No. 1 seed.

The Kernels can secure the No. 1 seed by defeating Kane County at home on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The Kernels also can secure the No.1 seed with a loss by Wisconsin, but they'd rather not back into the honor.

"That would be ideal, if we could beat Kane County a couple of times," said Manager Jake Mauer.

Kane County has been the class of the Midwest League all season and owns a No. 1 seed by winning the first-half title in the Midwest League. The Cougars lead the Kernels by three games in the second-half standings, so the Kernels could pull into a tie for first place by sweeping the three-game series from Kane County this week.



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Metro Schedule

Sunday, Aug. 31 Thursday,  Sept. 4
MWL: Clinton 1, Kernels 0 MWL Playoffs: Kernels at Burlington, 6:30 p.m.
MSOC: Coe 3, Cornell 2 HSFB: Kennedy at Washington (Kingston), 7:15 p.m.
Monday, Sept 1 HSFB: Xavier at Davenport Assumption (Brady Street Stadium), 7:15 p.m.
MWL: Kernels 3, Clinton 1 BGLF: Jefferson at MVC meet, Waterloo, 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 2 BGLF: Kennedy, Prairie at MVC meet, Airport National, 3:15 p.m.
HSVB: Jefferson at Iowa City West, 7 p.m. BGLF: Linn-Mar, Xavier at MVC meet, St. Andrews, 3:15 p.m.
HSVB: Kennedy at Linn-Mar, 7 p.m. BGLF: Washington at MVC meet, Gardner, 3:15 p.m.
HSVB: Xavier at Prairie, 7 p.m. GCC: Kennedy at Iowa City Invitational (UI Course), 5:30 p.m.
GSWM: Jefferson at Kennedy 6 p.m. BCC: Kennedy at Iowa City Invitational (UI Course), 5:30 p.m.
GCC: Jefferson at Iowa Mennonite Invitational, 5 p.m. HSVB: Marion at Vinton-Shellsburg, 7:30 p.m.
BCC: Jefferson at Iowa Mennonite Invitational, 5 p.m. HSVB: Cedar Valley Christian at GMG, 5 p.m.
CVB: Iowa Wesleyan at Coe, 7 p.m. GSWM: Washington at Wahlert (Loras pool), 6 p.m.
MGLF: Coe at Loras Invitational Friday, Sept. 5
MGLF: Mount Mercy at Clarke Invitational, 10 a.m. MWL Playoffs: Kernels at Burlington, 6:30 p.m. (if necessary)
WSOC: Mount Mercy at Waldorf, 3 p.m. USHL: RoughRiders at Atlantic Challenge, 5 p.m.
MSOC: Mount Mercy at Waldorf, 5 p.m. HSFB: Prairie at Jefferson, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 3 HSFB: Pleasant Valley at Linn-Mar, 7:15 p.m.

MWL Playoffs: Burlington at Kernels, 6:35 p.m.

HSFB: Washington (Iowa) at Marion, 7 p.m.
CVB: Northeast CC at Kirkwood, 6:30 p.m. HSFB: Clarksville at Cedar Valley Christian (LaSalle), 7 p.m.
WSOC: Coe at Cornell, 5 p.m. CVB: Kirkwood Invitational, 4 p.m.
CVB: Coe at Illinois Wesleyan Tourney, 3:30 p.m.
WSOC: Coe at ACM Colleges Tourney, 4 p.m.
MSOC: Coe at Macalester, 4:30 p.m.
M/WCC: Coe, Mount Mercy at 5 Seasons Dual, 6 p.m.
WGLF: Mount Mercy at Spirit Hollow Invitational, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Sept 6
USHL: RoughRiders at Atlantic Challenge, 6:30 p.m.
CFB: Coe at Wheaton, 1 p.m.
HSVB: Washington Invitational, 9 a.m.
HSVB: Kennedy at WDM Valley Invitational, 8:30 a.m.

HSVB: Cedar Valley Christian at Prince of Peace Tournament, 10 a.m.
GCC: Linn-Mar Invitational, 8:30 a.m.
GCC: Prairie at Pleasant Valley Invitational, 9 a.m.
BCC: Linn-Mar Invitational, 8:30 a.m.
BCC: Prairie at Pleasant Valley Invitational, 9 a.m.
BGLF: Wahlert Invitational, Spirit Hollow, 10 a.m.

GSWM: Linn-Mar at Muscatine Invitational, 10 a.m.

CVB: Coe at Illinois Wesleyan Tournament, 10 a.m.

CVB: Kirkwood Invitational, 9 a.m.

MGLF: Mount Mercy Invitational, Hunters Ridge, noon

WGLF: Coe at Wartburg Invitational

WGLF: Mount Mercy at Monmouth Invitational, 9 a.m.

WSOC: Benedictine at Mount Mercy, 1 p.m.
MSOC: Benedictine at Mount Mercy, 3 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 7

WSOC: Coe at ACM Colleges Tourney, 11:30 a.m.

WSOC: Mount Mercy at Mount Marty, 2 p.m.

MSOC: Coe at Knox, 11:30 a.m.

MSOC: Mount Mercy at Mount Marty, 4 p.m.

MGLF: Mount Mercy Invitational, Hunters Ridge, 9 a.m.

WGLF: Coe at Wartburg Invitational


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