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MWL: Farmer Fans 11, Shuts Down Kernels
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA The Cedar Rapids Kernels were stymied by a strong pitching effort from West Michigan as the Whitecaps dealt the Kernels their fourth straight loss, 5-2, Friday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Kernels managed just two hits against the Whitecaps starter, Buck Farmer, who struck out 11 Kernels and walked just one in seven shutout innings.
The game was dominated in the first three innings by both starting pitchers: Cedar Rapids' Kohl Stewart and West Michigan's Farmer. The starters each allowed one hit in the game's opening three frames.
In the fourth inning, the Whitecaps scored the first two runs of the game. Javier Betancourt began the inning with a single, and a double down the third base line by Raph Rhymes put runners on second and third with no outs. Dominic Ficociello opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Betancourt. Rhymes then scored on a double off the wall from Ben Verlander.
Kohl Stewart was given his first loss of the season on the mound for the Kernels. Stewart allowed two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking one.
The Whitecaps scored the decisive runs in the top of the seventh inning. Brett Harrison started the frame with a double, and Bennett Pickar followed with a walk. The Whitecaps took a 5-0 lead on a three-run home run by Wynton Bernard down the left field line.
The Kernels received a solid outing in relief from Christian Powell, who retired all six hitters he faced in the game's final two innings.
The Kernels put two runs on the board in the bottom of the ninth to threaten the Whitecaps at the end of the game. The inning began with singles by Chad Christensen and Zack Larson. Christensen's hit extended his hitting streak to seven games. The Kernels' two runs came home to score off the bat by Engelb Vielma. A Vielma grounder to short would score Christensen, and an errant throw to first would send Larson to the plate and Vielma to second. After a walk to Jeremias Pineda, the Whitecaps turned a double play to end the game.