116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kernels didn’t hit much. Neither did the Cinco Estaciones de Cedar Rapids.
But each won a game Wednesday night.
The Kernels beat the Lansing Lugnuts in the first game of a doubleheader, 4-0, on Gabriel Maciel’s walk-off grand slam. The Cinco Estaciones toppled the Locos de Lansing in Game 2 on an unearned run in the sixth, 1-0.
“Good to win two games where you throw 14 shutout innings,” said Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman.
Let’s explain this fully. Many minor-league teams conduct weekly Copa Night promotions to celebrate Hispanic culture, creating different nicknames for themselves and wearing unique jersey tops and caps.
The Cinco Estanciones (Five Seasons) is the Kernels’ iteration, with dark blue jersey tops and green logo and numbers. Lansing also went from the red and black Lugnuts to the Locos de Lansing for the second game, with powder blue tops and caps and a gold logo.
The Kernels got three hits in the opener, two doubles from Trey Cabbage and Maciel’s heroic hit. Cabbage doubled to the right-center gap to lead off the bottom of the seventh and went to third on a flyout to right off the bat of Jair Camargo.
After two intentional walks loaded the bases, Max Smith struck out against losing relief pitcher David Leal. Maciel got behind in the count, but eventually obliterated a Leal pitch well over the porch in left field and onto 8th Ave. SW, bouncing off a house across the street.
The blast measured 440 feet.
“I wanted to hit the ball really hard,” Maciel said, through translator and Kernels coach Jairo Rodriguez. “I waited for the fastball. Just wanted to make hard contact that last inning.
“That’s the first time I’ve hit a ball (that) far. I’m really happy about that.”
Pitchers Jon Olsen and Jordan Gore combined to allow Lansing just one hit, a single. Gore (4-1) picked up the win in relief.
The Estaciones mustered all of three hits again in the nightcap: Daniel Ozoria’s infield single, Max Smith’s double and Seth Gray’s broken-bat single in the sixth. Spencer Steer walked leading off against losing reliever Dalton Sawyer, going to second on Gray’s hit.
After a flyout and lineout, Alex Isola hit a grounder to third, with Lansing third baseman Jordan Diaz’s throw to second for the forceout short hopping past second base and into short right field, allowing Steer to score.
Andrew Cabezas and Owen Griffith combined for the three-hit shutout. Griffith (4-2) got the win in relief.
The teams combined for just 11 total hits in this doubleheader. They are scheduled to play again Thursday night at 6:35, as part of their six-game series.
The Kernels (24-20) have won seven games in a row, 11 of 13 and 13 of 16.
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