Kernels Complete Comeback to Win 7-6

Courtesy: Cedar Rapids Kernels

Cedar Rapids Kernels' Kaleb Cowart (21) bobbles a catch, allowing a Clinton LumberKings run in the third inning of the season opener at Kernels Stadium on Monday, April 9, 2012, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)


By James Steward

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Kernels came back from five runs down to trim the Clinton LumberKings 7-6 at Perfect Game Field on Monday evening. The ballgame featured eight errors combined between the teams. Wendell Soto and Frazier Hall both homered for the Kernels.

Clinton took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Daniel Paolini RBI groundout, scoring Jamal Austin. The Kernels tied the score 1-1 on an Abel Baker RBI groundout, scoring Frazier Hall.

In the third inning the LumberKings pushed across five runs to jump out to an early 6-1 lead. Guillermo Pimentel's RBI single plated Pauline. Jharmidy De Jesus followed with a RBI single to score Jabari Blash. Steve Baron then reached on a fielding error by Kernels third baseman Kaleb Cowart, and Ramon Morla came home to score. On a Jean Acevedo pop out to short Pimentel scored to make the score 5-1. De Jesus then scored when Anthony Phillips reached on a fielding error by Kernels shortstop Wendell Soto, extending the lead to 6-1.

That's when the Kernels began their comeback. The Kernels plated three runs in the fourth inning. With runners at second and third, Trevor Hairgrove reached on a throwing error by Clinton shortstop Anthony Phillips, allowing both Gary Mitchell and Chevy Clarke to score. Hairgrove later scored on a RBI single by Wendell Soto, cutting Clinton's lead to 6-4.

The Kernels scored their final three runs all with two outs. In the fifth inning Frazier Hall launched a home run deep to right field, cutting the deficit to 6-5. Then with two outs in the sixth inning, Wendell Soto's two home shot to right field gave the Kernels a 7-6 lead.

The Kernels bullpen pitched 5.1 innings of scoreless ball. Carmine Giardina (1-0) picked up the win, going 2.1 innings and allowing no runs on one hit. Jacob Negrete pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Ty Kelley recorded his first save by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Jairo Diaz started for the Kernels and went 4.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits. He struck out four and walked two.

Clinton's Brett Shankin (0-1) took the loss in relief. He went three innings and allowed two runs. Trevor Miller started for the LumberKings and went five innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits.

The Kernels were led offensively by Frazier Hall's 3-4 effort. Wendell Soto went 2-4.

The Kernels continue the three game series with Clinton and the seven game home stand on Tuesday evening at 6:35 p.m. It's Cubs-Cardinals Night at Perfect Game Field. Any fan wearing Cubs or Cardinals apparel with receive a $2.00 discount on the purchase of Club or Plaza tickets. The Kernels are having a different promotion for all 12 home games during the month of April.
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