The Cedar Rapids Kernels withstood a 9th-inning rally by the Quad Cities River Bandits to edge their opponents 5-4 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
DH Mitch Garver had three hits, LF Chad Christensen drove in three runs, and CF Jason Kanzler hit a solo homer for the Kernels.
Kernels SP Fernando Romero lasted four innings, giving up one run on five hits, two walks and two wild pitches. He struck out one batter.
The winning pitcher was LHP Brandon Bixler (4-3), who struck out two batters in three scoreless innings. He didn’t give up a hit or issue a walk; his only blemish was a wild pitch.
Losing pitcher Evan Grills (2-2) gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings. He struck out six batters and didn’t walk anyone.
1B Chase McDonald had two hits and PH Austin Elkins drove in two runs for the River Bandits. Elkins’ clutch 2-run single came when Quad Cities was trailing 5-1 with two outs in the top of the 9th inning.
River Bandits DH Brian Holberton went 0-for-3 with a walk. Earlier in the day, Minor League Baseball named him the Midwest League Player of the Month for May. Last month he led the MWL with a .388 batting average and a .638 slugging percentage. He hit for the cycle May 18, when he went 5-for-5 with 5 RBI against the Kane County Cougars.
*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler