Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

Minor League Sports

College teammates Trevor Casanova, Albee Weiss together again with Cedar Rapids Kernels

Kernels beat Burlington Bees, 6-5

(Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
(Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Their lockers are side by side in the home clubhouse. They hit sixth and seventh Tuesday night in the batting order again.

Albee Weiss and Trevor Casanova just can’t get away from each other. You know what, they don’t mind.

They love it.

“It’s great to have someone here you really know,” said Casanova, whose walk-off double with one out in the ninth gave the Cedar Rapids Kernels a 6-5 win Tuesday night over Burlington at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Casanova and Weiss played college baseball together at Cal State-Northridge, then ended up getting drafted last summer by the Minnesota Twins. Catcher Casanova went in the 13th round, first baseman-outfielder Weiss in the 23rd.

After signing professional contracts, they were teammates at Rookie-level Elizabethton. For two days in late May, they were together this season at high-Class A Fort Myers.

Since July 18, they both have been Kernels. Crazy how this has worked.

“We were very fortunate to have that already established relationship last year when we first came into pro ball together,” Weiss said. “Obviously it’s a new team, a new culture, a new group of guys. We have enjoyed the fact that we know each other really well and continue to grow that friendship. It’s fun being together and having a good time. I am fortunate to have him here, and I assume he thinks the same.”

He does.

“He was a good friend of mine at Northridge, so to come here and have a friend here like that is always nice,” Casanova said. “It’s the same thing we did at Northridge. Just have fun and play the game.”

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Making this story cooler is another of their Northridge teammates was in the dugout these last four games for Burlington. Infielder Alvaro Rubalcaba was signed as a non-drafted free agent last summer by the Los Angeles Angels.

For the record, Weiss and Casanova have separate billet families here in town. They do actually spend time apart.

“We know when to keep away from each other,” Casanova said, with a smile. “When he gets on my nerves, or I get on his, we know when to get away.”

The Kernels (66-48, 27-17) scored twice in the ninth to cap a rally from a 5-2 hole after four innings. Gabe Snyder tied the game with a leadoff home run against Burlington relief pitcher Luis Ramirez (0-2), then Wander Javier reached on a throwing error on Bees third baseman Kevin Maitan.

Jared Akins moved Javier to second base with an infield single to third. After a Weiss foul popout, Casanova roped his winner into the right-field corner.

Cedar Rapids is 26-11 in one-run games now, 12-2 in the second half. Burlington has lost nine games in a row.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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