CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Kernels inched their record to a season best Monday night. It came on a one-run victory.
Go figure. That’s just how this club has operated.
Clutch in close games.
“From my perspective, even if we’re facing a one-run deficit or something, it doesn’t look like anyone panics,” first baseman Albee Weiss said, after C.R.’s 3-2 win over Burlington at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “The pitching staff does a really good job of coming in and shutting the door. Then, like tonight, it just seems like every night it’s somebody else.”
That somebody else here was Gilberto Celestino, whose two-out single scored Tyler Webb with the winning run in the eighth inning. It was a hit-and-run single, with Celestino grounding a ball hard and to the left past Burlington second baseman Adrian Rondon, who had just moved to his right to cover the bag.
A great call by Manager Brian Dinkelman.
“Just trying to get something going,” Dinkelman said.
The Kernels are now 25-11 in games decided by a run, the win total the best in the Midwest League. They are 11-2 in one-run games in the second half.
This isn’t the best offensive club in the league, but it has been pretty darn good when it has mattered most. The starting pitchers have kept Cedar Rapids in most of its games and the bullpen has done its job, too, for the most part.
“It’s guys getting big hits late in the game,” Dinkelman said. “We had a chance there in the eighth with the first two guys on, then Celestino gets a big hit with two outs. It’s good to see guys with two out and runners in scoring position get the big hit.”
The Kernels are 65-48 overall and 26-17 in the second half. These two teams complete their four-game series Tuesday night at 6:35.
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Alex Schick ran his record to 5-1 with the pitching win in relief for C.R. Burlington relief pitcher Eduardo Del Rosario, a former Kernel, took a line drive off the bat of Jared Akins in the seventh that was measured at 105 miles per hour and had to be helped off the field, though was walking (albeit with a slight limp) after the game.
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