The Cedar Rapids Kernels beat the West Michigan Whitecaps 5-0 Wednesday to win the opening game of the Midwest League Championship Series.
Everyone in the Kernels lineup got at least one hit in support of great pitching efforts by starter Felix Jorge and relievers Luke Bard and Randy LeBlanc. Jorge scattered four hits and two walks while striking out four in six scoreless innings.
The Kernels scored three runs in the 5th inning, on a RBI single by Austin Diemer and a two-run double by Edgar Corcino. They scored two more runs on a RBI single by Max Murphy in the top of the 8th inning.
Rafael Valera and Nick Gordon — the two hitters at the top of the Cedar Rapids lineup — each had two hits, as did West Michigan’s A.J. Simcox and Christin Stewart.
Whitecaps starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull, who went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA during the regular season, gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. He struck out six batters.
Game 2 of the series starts at 6:35 p.m. ET Thursday at West Michigan’s Fifth Third Ballpark. The scheduled pitching matchup is Whitecaps RHP A.J. Ladwig (12-9, 3.59 ERA) versus Kernels RHP Sam Gibbons (7-4, 2.89 ERA).
*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler