116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — You gotta try and stretch that, Trey!
Cedar Rapids Kernels left fielder Trey Cabbage came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night needing a double to complete the hitting cycle.
That’s one of baseball’s sacred achievements, when a guy is able to get a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.
Cabbage picked on the first pitch, lining a ball into right-center field. At first glance, you thought that was going to be it.
But Peoria center fielder Jhon Torres got to the hit quickly, Cabbage took a wide turn around first base and stopped. Just a measly single.
He had to settle for a 4-for-4 game and five RBIs.
“Honestly when I was out there in left (in the top of the eighth), I was like ’It’d be kind of cool. I’m a double away,’” Cabbage said, after the Kernels beat Peoria, 9-3, at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “When I was in the box and hit it, I was just happy to have another hit. I was kind of coasting down the line, and I heard everybody yelling ’Go, go, go!’ So I kicked it in gear, tried to get there, made a hard turn. But once I looked, I could tell he was slowing up trying to deke me and then hose me. I was like ’Ah, I’m not going to look stupid.’”
Cabbage was on everything Friday night, with all four of his hits having exit velocities of over 100 miles per hour. He had a three-run home run to put Cedar Rapids ahead for good in the fourth inning, a ball that traveled 403 feet and well over the advertising ribbon boards in right field.
He watched the no-doubter from the box for a bit, then tossed his bat toward the Kernels dugout. Hey, there aren’t any batboys allowed this season, so he was just trying to help out there.
“It was definitely the farthest,” Cabbage said, when asked if it was the best bat flip of his career. “I didn’t mean to get it that far, but I think I was just amped. Especially with it being my first knock, I let that one go, man.”
Cabbage followed that with a triple off the fence in center field in his next at-bat and a walk in this third. In the sixth inning, he smoked a line drive through the box for a single, his hardest-hit ball of the night at 111 mph off the bat.
Cabbage came into the game 0 for 6 this young season. This was the second four-hit game in his career for the sixth-year pro, who has played for the Kernels in all of or parts of four seasons.
Dude can hit the ball as hard as anyone. Obviously.
“Swinging at strikes is the key for him,” said Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman said.
“I’m blessed with the ability that when I hit it, most times it’s hard,” Cabbage said. “I put a lot of work in the offseason and have continued it now and zoning it up better. Not trying to cover the whole plate, just stay in my zone. Obviously you adapt to each guy that comes to the mound, but staying in my zone and doing damage there (is important). I’m not really a huge contact hitter, but when I do hit it, I want to do damage.”
The Kernels (3-1) got good pitching from starter Tyler Watson and relievers Tyler Beck and Melvi Acosta. They combined to give up just five hits and one earned run.
Beck was credited with the victory. The teams play the fifth game of their six-game High-A Central League season Saturday night at 6:35.
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