DeJiulio Following in Dad’s Footsteps As Member of Kernels

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

Kernels pitcher Frank DeJiulio couldn't beat Burlington Monday night, but he and his dad have a special connection to Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Dad should be proud of this outing.

Frank DeJiulio retired the first 11 hitters he faced Monday for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A brief fourth-inning hiccup followed and ultimately resulted in a tough 4-2 loss to Burlington, but this was progress for a guy with a high earned run making just his second start.

Sort of reminiscent of the way his old man used to do it back in the day. Frank DeJiulio Sr. pitched four years in the minor leagues, including a successful 1980 season for the Cedar Rapids Reds.

“He played in the parking lot, right?” DeJiulio Jr. said, referring to the site of the old Veterans Memorial Stadium. “That’s pretty cool.”

The DeJiulios are only the second known father-son combo to play in Cedar Rapids in the club’s 100-plus year history of professional baseball. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos and his dad, Chris, also did.

DeJiulio Sr., now 53, got injured and lasted only one more pro season after he left Cedar Rapids. He works for an insurance-finance company in Florida.

“It was the National League, so he was actually hitting in a game,” DeJiulio Jr. said. “He went to third base, did a hook slide around third ... disclocated his shoulder. They didn’t do arthroscopic surgery back then, so his shoulder came out (of the socket), and that was it. He was done.”

DeJiulio Jr. was a 38th-round draft pick of the Angels in 2011 out of the University of Tampa. Despite an ERA in the sixes, he has been placed into the starting rotation and was very good Monday night until a two-out bunt single seemed to disconbobulate him.

He walked the next two hitters and gave up Bobby Crocker’s bases-clearing triple. He recovered to retire the next four hitters before being replaced, but the damage was done.

“It looked like (the bunt) hit bothered him, obviously,” said Kernels Manager Jamie Burke. “He walked a couple of guys and gave up that triple. I think he just lost concentration. You can’t do that. You’ve got to make the adjustments and go from there.”

The Kernels (33-41 overall) dropped to 1-3 in the Midwest League’s second half, limited offensively to solo home runs from Abel Baker and Gary Mitchell. Burlington moved to 4-0 in the second half.

The teams play again Tuesday night at 6:35.

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