Kernels Win 10th Straight And Get A Free Dinner

By Jeff Johnson (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Their manager sacrificed his taste buds so they could tantalize theirs. That's what good managers do.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to topple Peoria, 6-5, Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium, a second walk-off victory in a row that was Cedar Rapids' 10th straight win overall.

That's a delicious dime, in this case, as the Kernels have earned another free Ox Yoke Inn dinner at the Amana Colonies, courtesy of the club's board of directors. The board takes the team there preseason as an introduction to Iowa and again any time 10 straight 'W's are reeled off.

So what will it be this go around, boys? Steak, chicken, ham? You know it'll be all the potatoes, cottage cheese, sauerkraut and bread you could want.

"I remember it was a family style deal," said Kernels third baseman Travis Harrison. "It was good food. I don't know when we're going, but I can't wait."

Jeff Johnson
Multi-media sports reporter for SourceMedia in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who has covered it all over the past 20-plus years. Particularly [...] Email the author


Updated: 30 June 2013 | 8:33 pm in Cedar Rapids Kernels, Diamonds and Ice by Jeff Johnson, Sports
Let's eat: Kernels extend streak, secure free meal
Cedar Rapids wins 10th straight, will be treated to Amana dinner by team

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Their manager sacrificed his taste buds so they could tantalize theirs. That's what good managers do.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to topple Peoria, 6-5, Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium, a second walk-off victory in a row that was Cedar Rapids' 10th straight win overall.

That's a delicious dime, in this case, as the Kernels have earned another free Ox Yoke Inn dinner at the Amana Colonies, courtesy of the club's board of directors. The board takes the team there preseason as an introduction to Iowa and again any time 10 straight 'W's are reeled off.

So what will it be this go around, boys? Steak, chicken, ham? You know it'll be all the potatoes, cottage cheese, sauerkraut and bread you could want.

"I remember it was a family style deal," said Kernels third baseman Travis Harrison. "It was good food. I don't know when we're going, but I can't wait."

VIDEO OF KEPLER'S WINNING HIT


Mauer certainly will enjoy the eats, too, and he deserves to for having the same supper following each one of the games on this streak. Apparently you can't go wrong with a ham and cheese sandwich every single night.

"Yep, 10 days in a row," Mauer confirmed with a laugh. "Oh, yeah, I'm superstitious. But it's silly stuff like that. I mean, I've been changing my underwear and socks."

The end of this game was pure destiny. There's no other way to describe a player from Germany getting the winning single to send his team to a free meal at a German restaurant.

The Kernels (50-28 overall) rallied thanks to the wildness of Peoria closer Robert Stock. He hit two guys and walked two, including Harrison with the bases loaded and one out to tie it.

Harrison battled back from a 1-2 hole with a fine at-bat, taking a fastball well low and outside.

"We all pull for each other," Harrison said. "There are no selfish guys on this team. We all just want to win the game. We all try and do our part the best we can. We know if we don't, the guy behind us will pick you up. So you don't feel any pressure like that, and it's nice. Our lineup is stacked."

Kepler also worked a full count against Stock, then laced a base hit to left-center field. There's no doubt what Ox Yoke dishes he'll be ordering.

Hey, he's a kid from Germany.

"I like the Wiener Schnitzel," he said. "And the baked steak with the gravy on top (Sauerbraten). Fried onions. Delicious."

The teams conclude their three-game series Monday night at 6:35. Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey will pitch for the Kernels in an injury rehabilitation appearance.
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