GRAND CHUTE, Wis. — Nelson Molina’s RBI triple scored Zander Wiel with two outs in the 16th inning and gave the Cedar Rapids Kernels a 5-4 win Friday night.
Catcher Kevin Garcia was forced to enter the game as pitcher in the 15th inning and threw two shutout frames for his first professional victory. Garcia didn’t allow any hits and struck out two.
The game lasted five hours and 27 minutes. That’s about the time it probably will take the Kernels (77-59 overall) to get home from Wisconsin.
That would roughly get them into tough somewhere around 6 a.m. Cedar Rapids hosts Clinton Saturday night at 6:35 to begin the final regular-season series of the year.
Cedar Rapids has been assured of home-field advantage in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs against either Wisconsin or Burlington. Game 1 of the series is Wednesday night on the road, with Games 2 and 3 scheduled Thursday and Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Wiel, Brandon Lopez and J.J. Fernandez had three hits each for Cedar Rapids. The Kernels bullpen of Michael Cederoth, Anthony McIver, Max Cordy, Colton Davis and Garcia combined for 11 1/3 shutout innings.