CEDAR RAPIDS — CEDAR RAPIDS – There was a chance Logan Wade could have been a member of the Geelong Cats right now instead of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
The infielder grew up adoring rugby, a sport his native Australia loves. You morph from rugby into Australian Rules Football, that game ESPN first showed a couple decades ago.
“I played in school, and it was a big thing,” Wade said after his Kernels swept a double-header from Kane County, 5-2 and 5-4 at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “You went into a little draft with the (other) high schools. You’d get 10,000 or 20,000 to a game on weekends. It was a big thing.”
But baseball ultimately won his affections. It helped his father, Greg, was a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays for 25 years.
The Minnesota Twins signed the younger Wade as an international free agent in 2012, and he’s trying to climb his way up through their minor-league system. He smoked a go-ahead two-out, two-run double down the left-field line in the sixth inning of the nightcap to improve the Kernels to 15-11, just 2.5 games behind first-place Kane County in the Midwest League’s Western Division.
“Baseball, there’s not that many injuries,” Wade said. “I played an Australian tournament for four days one week, and that’s when a (Twins) scout approached me about signing.”
Hudson Boyd (3-1) picked up the win in relief in Game 2 for Cedar Rapids, spelling top draft pick Kohl Stewart in the sixth inning. Stewart looked good in 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run.
Cedar Rapids scored three go-ahead runs in the fifth inning of the opener. Mitch Garver had an RBI double in that frame, and Ivory Thomas a sacrifice fly.
Yorman Landa (3-0) threw two shutout relief innings for the victory. Brandon Peterson threw the seventh for his second save.
“That second game was really back and forth, back and forth,” said Kernels Manager Jake Mauer. “We hung in there. Logan had that big double down the line there. That was a big at-bat. I think it was a fastball in, and he really turned on it. Stayed inside of it, and kept it fair. We needed both of those runs.”
“Just one of those days where you’ve just got to dig deep,” Wade said. “You’re playing two games, but you’ve got to go and try and win both. You win two, it’s a bonus.”
The Kernels won three of four games against Kane County and begin a three-game series against Peoria tonight at 6:35. The game will be televised on KCRG-9.2.
The Kernels will be handing out bobbleheads of KCRG-TV anchorman Bruce Aune.
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