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Kernels Offense Pounds Out 16 Hits, Tops Wisconsin 8-5

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Cedar Rapids Kernels recorded 16 hits and came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 8-5, Friday night at Perfect Game Field.

Every hitter in the Kernels lineup recorded a hit in the game. Second baseman Wes Hatton led the Kernels offensively, going 3-for-4 with a pair of triples and four RBIs, while Ricky Alvarez and Carlos Lugo each recorded three hits.

Wisconsin scored five runs in the first three innings, but the Timber Rattlers bats were quieted by the Kernels bullpen.

Dakota Robinson (4-1) picked up his fourth victory of the season, pitching magnificently in relief of starting pitcher P.J. Jang. Robinson allowed no runs and three hits over 3.1 innings of work. Jang tossed 4.2 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in his second start of the season.

Stosh Wawrzasek earned the loss for Wisconsin, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings of relief.

The Timber Rattlers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Mike Walker double that scored Nick Shaw. Shaw singled home T.J. Mittelstaedt, and Walker blasted a 2-run home run in the second inning to give the Timber Rattlers a 4-0 advantage.

The Kernels cut into the deficit in the bottom of the second, scoring a run on a RBI single by Carlos Lugo, but a Chris Dennis sacrifice fly gave Wisconsin a 5-1 edge.

Cedar Rapids continued to chip away at the Timber Rattlers lead, adding a run in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, respectively.

Ricky Alvarez gave the Kernels their second run of the ballgame when he drove in David Harris on a groundout in the third inning, and Chris Giovinazzo picked up his first RBI in a Kernels uniform in the fourth inning when he singled home Jean Almanzar to make the score 5-3.

Wes Hatton hit his sixth triple of the season in the fifth inning, scoring Alvarez to cut the Timber Rattlers lead to 5-4.

The Kernels tied the ballgame in the seventh inning thanks to an error by Wisconsin first baseman Cody Hawn. The error allowed Ricky Alvarez to come home, trying the game 5-5.

Justin Bass gave the Kernels their first lead of the game in the eighth inning on a single up the middle that scored Jeremy Cruz. Hatton then ripped his second triple of the ballgame and seventh of the season, scoring two runners and giving the Kernels a 8-5 lead.

Kernels reliever Daniel Tillman shut down Wisconsin in the ninth inning to pick up his fifth save of the 2011 campaign. Tillman gave up one hit and struck out a batter.

The Kernels conclude the series with Wisconsin on Saturday evening at 6:35 p.m. with a spectacular fireworks show scheduled after the game, sponsored by Mix 96.5 FM. It's Armed Forces Night, sponsored by Midwest Curb Grinding. The Kernels will wear special jerseys that will be sold during the game with the proceeds to benefit the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.

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