Kernels Walk Off With 3-2 Win

By Jeff Johnson, Reporter

Cedar Rapids Kernels' Jairo Rodriguez slides across home plate during the fourth inning of their game against Beloit Snappers at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Thursday, April 4, 2013, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A night after scoring nine runs, the Cedar Rapids Kernels were limited to three hits by the Beloit Snappers. That’s through eight innings.

The Kernels rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, with Travis Harrison scoring from second on Niko Goodrum’s one-out lined single to right for a 3-2 win Friday night before 1,026 fans at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

D.J. Hicks led off the home ninth with a lined single to right against relief pitcher Stu Pudenz. After a flyout, Travis Harrison drove a Pudenz pitch into the right-center gap to score pinch runner Candido Pimentel with the tying run.

Goodrum lashed the first Pudenz pitch he saw, with Harrison scoring without a play when Beloit right fielder John Wooten failed to cleanly field his hit.

The Kernels’ Byron Buxton hit a long home run to left field to lead off the first. The mega-prospect turned on a 1-2 fastball from Beloit starting pitcher Michael Ynoa and hit a bullet that landed on 8th Avenue SW and onto the roof of a house across the street from Veterans Memorial Stadium on one hop.

That at-bat featured over $10 million in players. Buxton, the second-overall pick in last year’s MLB draft, signed with the Minnesota Twins for $6 million. Ynoa received a signing bonus of $4.25 million from the Oakland Athletics out of the Dominican Republic in 2008.

Ynoa, who has been oft-injured in his career, threw three innings, allowing only Buxton’s hit, walking two and striking out one. Reliever Dakota Bacus threw five shutout innings, striking out nine, as Beloit took a 2-1 lead.

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