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Frantic 9th Inning Rally Falls Just Short in 8-6 Loss to Kernels

Cubs offense comes out with a gusto in the final frame but can't complete miraculous comeback effort
(Kayleigh Sedlacek)
September 6, 2022

BOX SCORE CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – What a wild way to start this stretch between two teams about to play at least eight games in a row against each other. In game one of a six-game series that serves as a Midwest League postseason preview the Cedar Rapids Kernels took

BOX SCORE

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – What a wild way to start this stretch between two teams about to play at least eight games in a row against each other. In game one of a six-game series that serves as a Midwest League postseason preview the Cedar Rapids Kernels took down the South Bend Cubs 8-6 a warm pleasant night in Iowa.

For seven and a half innings on Tuesday night we saw barely any offense – back-to-back wild and high scoring half innings followed.

South Bend trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth when Bailey Reid came in for his first outing with the Cubs off his activation from the Development List earlier in the day. Five batters into the inning there hadn't been a ball put in play and the bases were loaded with two outs thanks to two walks and a hit batsman. Then Willie Joe Garry Jr. doubled down the line in right, Dylan Neuse scorched a single into center, and Jake Rucker sent a towering blast over the wall in left. Three straight batters, three straight two-out hits, and all of a sudden it was 8-1.

The Cubs staff bent but didn't break throughout the game, playing with fire all night in the fact that between the second and eighth inning the Kernels leadoff man reached six-of-seven times but only scored once. Chris Kachmar, Luke Little, and Riley Martin combined to toss the first seven innings allowing one earned run on five hits.

Seemingly without much hope having tallied just four hits on the night, the Cubs bats sparked to life in the ninth. Owen Caissie double down the line in right to start the inning and the first three batters reached base, with Caissie scoring on a BJ Murray single. With two outs the second half West Division champs rallied with three straight hits from Fabian Pertuz, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and Jordan Nwogu. Nwogu's double plated two more and brought the tying run to the plate. South Bend batted around in the ninth but Luis Verdugo flew out to center and Cedar Rapids held on for the win.

An area in which the Cubs were really exploited was on the bases. Cedar Rapids went five-for-five stealing bases and manufactured their first run that tied the game in the second with two stolen bases and a wild pitch.

Orlando Rodriguez dazzled for the home team going a season-high six innings, allowing just one run, and at one point retiring 11 batters in a row. In his final frame he maneuvered out of a bases loaded one-out situation without allowing a run. Matt Mullenback continued his stellar campaign with two more scoreless innings to bring his season ERA to 1.29 with the Twins High-A affiliate. Reggie Grace in his MWL debut got tagged with four runs in the ninth and Tyler Palm allowed two more hits but got the final out of the game.

Tomorrow we'll see what could easily be a preview of game one next week as Luis Devers faces off against David Festa. This is one you're not going to want to miss as two of the best pitchers on two of the best teams square off in eastern Iowa.