Saturday, April 19, 2014
FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD — USHL Playoffs: Dubuque 1, RoughRiders 0 (Dubuque leads best-of-5 series, 2-1) ..... MWL — West Michigan 5, Kernels 2 ..... COLLEGE BASEBALL — Central 2-5, Coe 1-4 ..... Kirkwood 12-17, Southwestern 2-15 ..... BOYS SOCCER — Kennedy 1, West Des Moines Valley 0 (2 OT)
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball

Farmer hands Kernels 4th loss in row

The $4.5 million bonus baby pitched fairly well for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Friday night, but the $225,000 college kid pitched better for West Michigan.

Buck Farmer struck out 11 batters and allowed only two hits as the Whitecaps handed the Kernels their fourth straight defeat, 5-2, before 1,346 fans on a mild night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Kohl Stewart had a solid outing for Cedar Rapids, allowing only two runs in five innings, but he absorbed his first loss in the Midwest League when the Kernels had trouble mounting an attack.

A year ago, Farmer was a senior at Georgia Tech and Stewart was a senior in high school. Farmer might be slightly ahead of Stewart as a professional pitcher at this point, but Farmer is 23 years old and the 19-year-old Stewart is a millionaire.

Stewart sailed through the first three innings Friday, but was touched for three hits - including two doubles - and two runs in the fourth inning.

"I left a couple of balls up," he said. "I got behind a couple of times in the count to those guys in the fourth inning. But overall, yeah, I felt good."



Santy replaces Quesada with Kernels

The Cedar Rapids Kernels and Minnesota Twins announced Friday that catcher Michael Quesada has been placed on the 7-day Disabled List, retroactive to April 17, and catcher Bryan (B.K.) Santy is joining the Kernels from Extended Spring Training.

The Twins selected Santy in the 30th round of the 2012 draft from the University of Washington. He played in 23 games with Elizabethton last season, batting .256 with three doubles and 12 RBIs.

Quesada goes on the DL with a right wrist contusion after being hit by a pitch Wednesday. In nine games for the Kernels, he is batting .185 (5-for-27) with four doubles and three RBIs.

Santy will be available for Friday night's game with West Michigan at the stadium.


Bixler continues good work for Kernels

The Cedar Rapids Kernels’ pitching rotation is filled with names commonly found among any number of Minnesota Twins “top prospect” lists.  But while the results have been mixed for the big names on the mound so far this season, the bullpen has been carrying more than its share of the load in the early part of the season.

Thursday’s starting pitcher Randy Rosario, among the Twins organization’s top minor league prospects entering the season, has yet to find his groove and survived just three innings in the Kernels’ 7-3 loss to the West Michigan Whitecaps in front of 770 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

The Kernels’ bullpen, however, has been keeping the team competitive. On Thursday, two Cedar Rapids relievers combined for five innings of scoreless middle-inning relief work.

Brandon Bixler’s performance Thursday night epitomized the work of the Kernels’ pen. After Rosario departed, Bixler entered the game to start the fourth inning and gave Cedar Rapids 2.2 innings of shutout relief work.



Wounded Kernels fall to South Bend

Kernels Manager Jake Mauer has not hung any "Help Wanted" signs in his dugout yet, but he has asked one of his pitchers if he could play the
outfield in an emergency.

The injuries are starting to pile up.

Mauer had only one healthy substitute on his bench for most of Wednesday night's 4-2 loss to South Bend before 732 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Chad Christensen, a versatile guy who can play the outfield and infield, has been sidelined the past three days with a sore right elbow. Michael Quesada, the starting catcher Wednesday night, left the ballgame with a swollen wrist on his right hand after being hit by a pitch in the second inning.

That left infielder Tanner Vavra as the only healthy reserve, not counting pitchers. Everyone else was either playing or hurt.

Quesada stayed in the game for an inning after being hit, but he could not grip a bat and had to retire for the night. He'll have an X-Ray Thursday morning on his wrist and right hand.



Kernels fall despite 16 strikeouts

Normally, when Cedar Rapids Kernels pitchers rack up 16 strikeouts in a game at Veterans Memorial Stadium, you would feel pretty confident the home fans will leave the ballpark happy.

But the remaining few of the 574 fans that paid to attend the game Tuesday night and stuck it out to the end also saw Kernels pitchers give up 13 hits to the third-worst hitting team in the Midwest League so far this season.

As a result, they saw the Kernels drop a 7-5 decision to the South Bend Silver Hawks.

The night started out poorly for the Kernels as South Bend hitters touched Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Ryan Eades (1-2) for five of their runs on eight hits during the game’s first three innings. Eades struck out five Sliver Hawks before Josue Montanez took the mound for the Kernels to start the fourth inning.



Kernels bag 5th straight win

LANSING, Mich. —  The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the Lansing Lugnuts, 6-2, at Cooley Law School Stadium on Sunday afternoon before 1,710 fans to complete a three-game sweep and extend their winning streak to five games.

The Kernels took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning when Mitch Garver singled into center field, scoring Tanner Vavra and Zack Larson. Garver has a team-high eight RBIs.

Vavra extended his hit streak to five games by singling into center, while Larson collected his team-high sixth double off the right-field wall.

Cedar Rapids (7-3) extended its lead to 4-0 in the third inning with RBI singles from Larson and Chad Christensen. Jason Kanzler was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Larson singled home Kanzler to put the Kernels up by three runs.

Larson stole second base and came home on Christensen's RBI single into right-center. Christensen's single extended his hit streak to six games.



Kernels rally for 4th straight win

LANSING, Mich. - The Cedar Rapids Kernels won their fourth straight game Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 comeback victory against the Lansing Lugnuts before 3,693 fans in a Midwest League game at Cooley Law School Stadium.

Tanner Vavra collected three RBIs and drove in two runs with a single to tie the game in the eighth inning.

The Kernels' offense was quiet through the first five innings, having recorded only a double by Joel Licon to lead off the third inning. Trailing 3-0, Engelb Vielma and Jeremias Pineda started the sixth inning with consecutive hits to put runners on the corners. With one out, Vavra plated Vielma with an RBI groundout to make the score 3-1.

The Kernels went ahead 4-3 in the eighth inning by scoring three runs. Logan Wade singled to start the inning and spark the rally.



Garver homers twice to power Kernels

LANSING, Mich. —  Mitch Garver hit two home runs and drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning as the Cedar Rapids Kernels downed the Lansing Lugnuts, 10-7, in a Midwest League game before 2,819 fans at Cooley Law School Stadium.

Chad Christensen, playing first base for the first time this season, went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs for the Kernels.

The game featured a flurry of activity over the final two innings as the teams combined for eight runs.

The Kernels entered the eighth inning with a slim 5-4 lead. Garver led off the inning with his second home run of the night, a towering blast that hit the foul pole down the left-field line.

The Kernels relinquished their 6-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, however. Reliever Yorman Landa issued two hits and three consecutive walks as Lansing took its first lead of the game, 7-6.



Kernels win series at Great Lakes, 11-2

MIDLAND, Mich. —  The Cedar Rapids Kernels exploded for a season-high 11 runs and 11 hits on their way to an 11-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons on Thursday afternoon before 1,085 fans in a Midwest League game at Dow Diamond.

The win gave the Kernels (4-3) their first series victory of the season as they took two of three games.

Righthander Ryan Eades (1-0) went seven innings and allowed one unearned run on six hits. He struck out five and walked none.

The lone run the Loons tallied off Eades came in the fifth inning when Joey Curletta doubled and later scored on a fielding error. Eades was solid during all seven innings, escaping danger in the seventh by fielding a comebacker with two runners in scoring position to end the inning and his outing.



Kernels top Loons to reach .500

MIDLAND, Mich. - The Kernels topped the Great Lakes Loons, 5-3, Wednesday night before 974 fans at Dow Diamond.

Aaron Slegers led the way with his second consecutive strong start and the Kernels tallied the first run of the game for the first time in 2014.

Slegers (1-0) went six innings in the win, allowing only a single run on four hits. He struck out six and walked none. In two starts this season, the 6-foot-10 righthander has struck out a combined 11 hitters and walked none.

The Kernels (3-3) scored first in a game for the first time this season by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The team had fallen behind in all of the previous five games this year.

Mitch Garver powered a two-run home run over the wall in left field to put Cedar Rapids up by a pair. The shot scored Michael Quesada, who had walked to begin the inning.


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Kernels Calendar

April 3
2014 season opener

Midwest League Standings

Western Div.
xz-KERNELS (Twins) 48
Championship (Best-of-5)
x-Quad Cities (Astros) 43
.623 4.5
Wednesday, Sept. 11
xy-Beloit (A's) 34
35 .493 13.5
Quad Cities 3, South Bend 2
x-Clinton (Mariners)
.486 14.0
Thursday, Sept. 12
Burlington (Angels) 30
Quad Cities 5, South Bend 0
Peoria (Cardinals)
Saturday, Sept. 14
Wisconsin (Brewers) 30
Quad Cities 4, South Bend 2
Kane County (Cubs) 25
(Quad Cities wins series, 3-0)
Eastern Div.
xz-Bowling Green (Rays)
.629 --
x-Great Lakes (Dodgers)
.580 3.5
Dayton (Reds)
.529 7.0
xy-South Bend (D-Backs) 37
.529 7.0
West Michigan (Tigers)
.522 7.5
Lake County (Indians)

x-Fort Wayne (Padres) 29
Lansing (Blue Jays)

FINAL (2nd Half)
x-Clinched playoff; y-won 1st half; z-won 2nd half

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