MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
The top-ranked Saints s ... »
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Eduardo Del Rosario got waylaid in his last start, but that was just a blip on what has been an otherwise sparkling resume so far this Midwest League season.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher went a career-high seven innings Tuesday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium, shutting down the Burlington Bees and picking up a 2-1 victory.
The 21-year-old right-hander from Yamasa, Dominican Republic, gave up just five hits, walked one and struck out 10. Not one Bee got as far as third base against him.
The kid was just that dominant.
“I’ve been working on my slider in the bullpen, and I (took) that pitch into the game,” he said.
It wasn’t just his slider, though. Everything was working: his two and four-seam fastballs, his changeup.
Del Rosario’s record improved to 2-1 and his earned run average in four starts to 2.75. They’ve been real good starts, with the exception of last week at Peoria, in which he was touched for eight hits and five runs in just two innings.
This was quite a response to that.
“Not good. That was not good last game in Peoria,” he said. “But they say ‘Keep going. Keep working hard.’ Today was good.”
“He was outstanding,” said Kernels Manager Tommy Watkins. “His last outing, he didn’t miss many barrels. But he was efficient tonight. He worked quick, he pounded the zone, he mixed good. He was good. Fun to watch.”
Burlington starter Jesus Castillo was just as brilliant, giving up just one hit in five innings, but Cedar Rapids (10-9) caught a break with the parent Los Angeles Angels’ policy of five innings or 75 pitches for its starters at the low-Class A level. That meant Castillo was gone despite a 0-0 game, and the Kernels scored twice in the sixth against reliever Nathan Bates.
Shorstop Jermaine Palacios had a leadoff triple in the frame and scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch. The Midwest League Player of the Week went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to a gaudy .403.
“I’m trying to get him a day off, but it’s hard when he’s hitting like this,” Watkins said.
Burlington got the tying runners into scoring position in the eighth against reliever Alex Robinson, but he struck out Brennan Morgan on a 97-mile-per-hour fastball to end that threat. Tom Hackimer pitched around a two-base throwing error that gave the Bees their run in the ninth for his second save.
The teams complete their three-game series Wednesday night at 6:35.
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