116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Jordan Gore watched the championship game last summer at home on television. 'But it felt like I was right there with them,' he said.
The newest Cedar Rapids Kernel made his debut Wednesday night in his club's 9-1 loss to Kane County at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The shortstop comes from Coastal Carolina University, which, as you might remember, was the 2016 college baseball national champion.
The Cinderella college baseball national champion.
Gore transferred to the school from South Carolina and had to red-shirt during the magical season. Because of that, he wasn't able to travel to Omaha to be with the team at the College World Series.
'Picked a good year to have to do that, huh?' he said with a smile. 'But they treated me like one of the guys. Made sure I got a ring and everything, because I was up at 4:30 in the morning working out with them in the fall. It's the best group of guys I've ever known. Watching them play just made me a twice-better player, to be honest with you.'
Gore started this season for the Chanticleers and was drafted in the 19th round by the Minnesota Twins in June. He hit a robust .389 in 18 games at Rookie-level Elizabethton, which prompted his promotion to the Midwest League.
He flew out of Tennessee at 6:15 Wednesday morning, made it to the ballpark about 11 and was immediately thrown into the starting lineup, singling in his first at-bat.
'It's been a long one,' he said. 'But that's all right. I'm happy to be here.'
It was not a happy night for the Kernels (57-52, 18-21), who scored the first run but allowed the next nine. Kane County scored five times in the second against losing starting pitcher Evan Sanders (1-4) and won in a rout.
Cedar Rapids Manager Tommy Watkins was ejected for the third time this season in the bottom of the second inning after voicing his displeasure at a checked-swing call that went against his team. It seemed inevitable considering Watkins had barked loudly at both umpires in the top of the inning after another checked-swing call went against the Kernels, taking away a possible strikeout and eventually leading to a two-run double.
The teams play again Thursday night at 6:35.
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