On the second night of the Midwest League playoffs, the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Fort Wayne TinCaps advanced to the second round while the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Dayton Dragons stayed alive by tying their respective series.
The Kernels beat the Kane County Cougars 7-3 to sweep their series. Cedar Rapids scored six runs in the top of the 4th inning, capped by a three-run homer by Trey Cabbage. The first eight batters reached base in that frame, knocking out Cougars starting pitcher Sam McWilliams. Kernels starter Clark Beeker got the win after giving up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and three walks while striking out six batters in seven innings.
This is the fourth consecutive year the Kernels have reached the Western Division finals. They will face the winner of Friday’s game between the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Peoria Chiefs. Quad Cities won the second game of their series, 4-1, behind a good start by winning pitcher Cristian Javier, who allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out six batters in six innings. Colin Moran and Marcos Almonte each had three hits and a run batted in for the River Bandits. QC’s Chuckie Robinson and Peoria’s Stefan Trosclair homered.
The TinCaps punched their ticket to the Eastern Division finals by scoring five runs in the last three innings to beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 6-4. They won the game in dramatic fashion as Marcus Greene Jr. blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning for a walk-off victory. Jack Suwinski also homered for Fort Wayne.
The TinCaps will face the winner of Friday’s contest between the Dayton Dragons and the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Dragons won Thursday’s game 2-1 after ending a 9th-inning Whitecaps rally before more than one run was scored. Winning pitcher Scott Moss scattered three hits and a walk while striking out five batters in six innings.
The second round of the Midwest League playoffs begins Saturday.