South Bend, IN - In the top of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon, the Cedar Rapids offense broke out for six runs, its largest offensive output in an inning this season, to turn a 3-3 tie into a 9-3 lead, one the team would hold on to, grabbing the 9-5
South Bend, IN - In the top of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon, the Cedar Rapids offense broke out for six runs, its largest offensive output in an inning this season, to turn a 3-3 tie into a 9-3 lead, one the team would hold on to, grabbing the 9-5 victory over South Bend in game two of the series.
The first half of the contest belonged to pitching, Cedar Rapids starter Alejandro Hidalgo had his best outing on the season for the Kernels. The right-hander punched out nine Cubs in his 5.1 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits.
His counterpart Brandon Birdselll was also stellar in his outing. Birdsell went scoreless through his five innings, and the score sat 0-0 after five frames.
In the sixth, Cedar Rapids hopped on the board first when Kala’i Rosario crushed his first home run of the season, a solo blast to right field to make it 1-0. The next batter, Jose Salas, also crushed a ball out to right that got over the wall, his first of the season, as the Kernels went back-to-back to hold a 2-0 lead after six innings.
In the seventh, Cedar Rapids grew the lead to 3-0 following back-to-back doubles by Keoni Cavaco and Charles Mack to lead by that advantage through six and a half.
In the home half of the seventh, South Bend drew even with a three-run frame. The Cubs led off the inning with three straight singles, with one scoring a run, then a two-run triple by Scott Mckeon tied the game at 3-3.
With the score still tied, entering the top of the ninth, a walk, wild pitch and stolen base put runners on first and third with no one out. Mack then delivered a sacrifice fly to left to give the Kernels a 4-3 advantage in the ninth. After a strikeout, back-to-back singles put runners on first and third for Rosario, who also singled to make it 5-3. After a walk loaded the bases, Kyler Fedko cleared the bases with a three-run triple making it 8-3, then the next batter Willie Joe Garry Jr. singled to score Fedko and make it 9-3.
South Bend pushed two across in the bottom of the ninth, but the Kernels (10-12), hung on to take down the Cubs (14-9) by a final of 9-5. The six-game series continues tomorrow at 6:05 when Orlando Rodriguez makes the start for Cedar Rapids against Connor Noland.