116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The final game of this return season at Veterans Memorial Stadium should have been returned.
It was a real bummer.
A good crowd of 1,371 didn’t have much of anything to cheer about on this cool evening, as Q.C. got to starting pitcher Sean Mooney right away via a two-run home run in the top of the first inning by Nick Loftin. A solo shot from Maikel Garcia in the third made it 3-0 early.
“They got those two runs there in the first inning, another one in the third and kind of put us behind,” said Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman. “We just didn’t get much going offensively tonight. We knew it was going to be a tough series. A tough game tonight. Hopefully we’ll bounce back Friday.”
As Dinkelman mentioned, the Kernels didn’t get anything going offensively in this game. They had just three hits, all singles, and four baserunners, only one reaching second base.
Four River Bandits pitchers (Anthony Veneziano, Nathan Webb, Zack Phillips and Will Klein) combined for 14 strikeouts. Only DaShawn Keirsey Jr. had good at-bats, singling sharply up the middle, to left field and lining out third.
“Their guys threw the ball really well,” Dinkelman said. “Maybe not the greatest at-bats by our team overall. Keirsey had a nice night, but just tough pitching they rolled out there tonight. Just made it hard on our offense.”
This best-of-5 series now shifts to Davenport. After an off day Thursday, the teams play Game 3 Friday night at 6:30 and Game 4 Saturday night at 6:30.
If there’s a needed all-or-nothing Game 5, it’d be 6:30 Sunday night at Modern Woodmen Park.
The starting pitching matchups are Dante Biasi (5-2, 3.77 ERA in regular season) for Q.C. and Casey Legumina (0-0, 5.79) for C.R. in Game 3. In Game 4, it’s Charlie Neuweiler (2-3, 4.81) for the River Bandits and Sawyer Gipson-Long (3-3, 4.55) for the Kernels.
“To think this would be a three or four-game series was kind of tough to imagine,” Dinkelman said. “We knew it’d be a long series, would go all the way down to the end. Hopefully we’ll play a good game Friday, try to regain the lead in the series and see what happens from there.”
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