CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Cedar Rapids Kernels jumped out to a 6-2 lead over the first two innings and went on to a 10-6 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have split the first two games of the series with the rubber match set for Monday afternoon.
The Dragons scored two runs in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. They loaded the bases with no one out on a pair of singles by Mitch Piatnik and Shed Long and a walk to Nick Senzel. James Vasquez delivered a sacrifice fly to bring in Piatnik before Long scored on Kevin Franklin’s ground out to make it 2-0.
But Cedar Rapids scored four runs in the bottom of the first, collecting four hits after a Dayton error to make it 4-2. They added two more runs in the second and held their 6-2 lead through five innings.
The Dragons rallied in the sixth to pull back to within two runs. Senzel walked and Vasquez singled to move him to third. Franklin followed with a double to left-center field to drive in both runners and make it 6-4.
Cedar Rapids responded with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of two bases-loaded walks to take a 10-4 lead. Dragons pitchers had also given up a walk with the bases loaded in the second inning and issued a total of eight walks in the game, one short of their season high.
The Dragons pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring. Both runs came on RBI ground outs.
Dragons starting pitcher Tanner Rainey (3-8) suffered the loss. Rainey lasted five innings, allowing six runs (two earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
The Dragons finished with seven hits. Franklin led the attack with two hits including a double and three runs batted in. Long also had two hits including a double and he scored a run.
The Dragons (11-18, 32-67) close out the series and the road trip on Monday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. (EDT) in Cedar Rapids against the Kernels (17-13, 53-46). Jacob Constante (4-8, 4.99) will start for the Dragons against Cedar Rapids’ Lachian Wells (2-2, 2.05). The Dragons next home game is Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. at Fifth Third Field against the Great Lakes Loons.
Notes: The Dragons are 2-3 on their current road trip and will be looking for a win in the finale on Monday to gain a split.