Cedar Rapids, IA – The Cedar Rapids Kernels are headed to the postseason for the ninth consecutive season as they earned the 2022 Midwest League West Division First Half Championship on Saturday. Cedar Rapids clinched their division title with a Wisconsin loss to Great Lakes earlier in the evening, closing
Cedar Rapids, IA – The Cedar Rapids Kernels are headed to the postseason for the ninth consecutive season as they earned the 2022 Midwest League West Division First Half Championship on Saturday. Cedar Rapids clinched their division title with a Wisconsin loss to Great Lakes earlier in the evening, closing out the exciting night with a 9-5 win over the Dayton Dragons – their 40th win of the season.
Cade Povich struck out a career-high 11 batters over 5.0 innings of three-hit, two-walk, two-run ball to earn his fifth win of the season. The lefthander piled up 17 whiffs on 92 pitches while showcasing his premium stuff by striking out the side in the first and fifth.
The Kernels jumped on the board early with a pair of runs in the first on back-to-back bases-loaded walks issued to Kyler Fedko and Will Holland. After Dayton knotted the game at two with a run in the second and third, Wander Javier put Cedar Rapids back in front with a towering solo shot to lead off the fourth. Javier tacked on insurance in the fifth with an RBI single after Holland walked and stole second with two down.
Each of the first six Kernels reached in the sixth as Alerick Soularie led off with a solo homer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled for his third hit of the night then Aaron Sabato and Seth Gray drew back-to-back walks. A passed ball plated Encarnacion-Strand before Yunior Severino blasted a two-run double off the left field wall, putting Cedar Rapids in front 8-2.
Orlando Rodriguez retired the first six men he faced to earn his third hold of the year. Three runs scored in the eighth, then Miguel Rodriguez took over and retired each of the six men he faced with three punchouts for his second save. Holland gave the Kernels insurance with an RBI double in the eighth, providing the decisive 9-5 final tally.
Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-5, 2 R, 2B), Soularie (2-for-4, BB, 2 R, HR, RBI) and Javier (2-for-5, R, HR, 2 RBI) supplied multi-hit nights for the Kernels
The series finale is set for 2:05 p.m. on Sunday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
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