Borenstein’s Walk-Off Homer Gives Kernels Unbelievable 12-11 Win
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — One of the most endearing things about the grand old game of baseball is that no matter how many times you watch it, there’s always the possibility of seeing something you’ve never seen before. Something that makes you go “unbelievable.”
It’s arguable many, if any, of the 3,402 folks on hand Friday night at ever steamy Veterans Memorial Stadium have seen anything like last night’s 12-11 win for the Cedar Rapids Kernels over Wisconsin. It was unbelievable.
Zach Borenstein’s no-doubter two-out, two-run home run to right saved the Kernels from what would have been their worst defeat of the Midwest League season. Hands down.
Wisconsin scored eight times in the eighth inning to take an 11-10 lead. But Borenstein bailed his club out big time with his fourth hit of the game, his second homer and fifth and sixth RBIs.
“This team has had so many tough losses,” he said, after watching game highlights with celebratory teammates on the in-house television in the Kernels clubhouse. “This would have been another one-run loss, probably the worst loss. I mean, they’re all tough. It just feels good to pick up some of the guys that have done so well all year.”
Where to begin here?
Wisconsin had not one, but two bases-loaded triples in the eighth. The second, from Ben McMahan, put them ahead for what looked like for good.
Five of the runs in the snowman inning were charged to Kernels reliever Stephen Tromblee. That’s unbelievable because Tromblee, a Midwest League All-Star Game participant, had allowed six runs coming in … all season.
Andy Workman bounced a double off the left-field wall with one out in the Cedar Rapids ninth. A Zach Wright grounder to short moved him to third, bringing up Borenstein.
The lefty swung at the first pitch he saw from Wisconsin’s Tommy Toledo, crushing a hanging breaking ball well over the fence and deep into the hot night. Needless to say, he was mobbed at home plate.
“I always look for a fastball, just trying to be on time,” Borenstein said. “I’ve just been working on some stuff with Ellie (hitting coach Mike Eylward). Just keep my hands back … recognize the pitch. I wasn’t really thinking much there. Just looking for something in the zone.”
Toledo, by the way, lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. He had allowed only 16 hits in 34 innings coming in.
Yep, just one of the those nights at the ballpark. One of those unbelievable nights.
The Kernels (5-10 second half) host Peoria Saturday nuight at 6:35.
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