LANSING, Mich. – In front of 5,722 in a Copa de la Diversión game and the first LAFCU Fireworks game of the year, the Cedar Rapids Kernels (31-18) built a comfortable lead with late insurance and then held on to stop the Lansing Locos (19-30), 8-5, on Friday night at
LANSING, Mich. – In front of 5,722 in a Copa de la Diversión game and the first LAFCU Fireworks game of the year, the Cedar Rapids Kernels (31-18) built a comfortable lead with late insurance and then held on to stop the Lansing Locos (19-30), 8-5, on Friday night at Jackson® Field™.
Kernels leadoff hitter Anthony Prato went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs – including a two-run triple in a four-run eighth that gave Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead.
But in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Locos rallied for two runs on a Jonny Butler RBI single and an Austin Beck sac fly. With runners at second and third and Lawrence Butler at the plate representing the game-tying run, Derek Molina induced a flyout to center field to end the game.
Molina was only in the game because Ryan Shreve, the Kernels’ reliever to start the ninth, was removed from the game by the umpiring crew due to continual bleeding from his hand. The bottom of the ninth was delayed at the start due to attempts to stanch the bleeding, with Shreve eventually facing the first four Lansing batters before his removal was ordered.
The two teams have split the first four games of the six-game series.
Locos starter Hogan Harris continued his comeback to full strength after missing all of last season by pitching a season high 2 1/3 innings, blanking Cedar Rapids on one hit and two walks while striking out two.
Stevie Emanuels handled the next 4 2/3 innings, striking out three while allowing two-run rallies in the third in and fifth innings.
Trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, debuting Locos third baseman Alex Campos singled to right field off Kernels reliever Tyler Palm (West Branch, Mich.). Three batters later, Tyler Soderstrom barely missed a two-run game-tying homer, doubling off the top of the 20-foot center field wall to bring the Locos within 4-3.
Campos finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Jonny Butler added two hits and a walk, Gabriel Maciel singled and doubled in four at-bats, and leadoff hitter Drew Swift went 1-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored – driven in each time by Austin Beck.
Saturday, the fifth game of the six-game series, is REO Speedwagon Tribute Night with special Speedwagon-themed uniforms and LAFCU Fireworks! Lansing will start right-hander Blake Beers (0.00 ERA) against Kernels left-hander Brent Headrick (1.70 ERA); gates open at 6 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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