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Kernels Sweep Doubleheader Over Bandits

Houston Astros right-hander Josh Fields tossed two shutout innings in the first major league rehab assignment for Quad Cities at Modern Woodmen Park since 2006, starting a stretch of 10 scoreless innings between the River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels to start their doubleheader Friday, but the visitors took a 2-0, 11-inning win in Game 1 and a 5-1 win in Game 2 in front of 2,003 fans.

 

Fields struck out three batters in his first-ever professional start, allowing a lone two-out infield single in the first inning. Following Fields, right-hander Jamaine Cotton struck out five batters in four scoreless innings for an impressive Midwest League debut.

 

Meanwhile, Kernels right-hander Hudson Boyd allowed just two hits in six shutout innings. Each team loaded the bases and failed to score late in Game 1. The Kernels had the bases loaded with none out in the seventh, and Quad Cities filled the bases with one out in the 10th inning.

 

In the first of two scheduled seven-inning games, the 10 scoreless innings marked the longest such tie in a game for Quad Cities since its 1-0, 11-inning walk-off home win against Cedar Rapids on Aug. 26, 2007.

 

In the top of the 11th inning, Kernels first baseman Dalton Hicks drove in the game's first run with a RBI double to deep left field to score shortstop Jorge Polanco from first after his one-out single. Right fielder Adam Brett Walker followed with a double down the left field to bring in Hicks for the Kernels' second run against right-hander Cameron Lamb (1-2). Right-hander Tim Atherton (2-1) kept Quad Cities scoreless for the final 1 2/3 innings for the victory.

 

In Game 2, the Kernels rode their momentum to a four-run first inning against Quad Cities right-hander Vincent Velasquez (3-1). Hicks, third baseman Travis Harrison and catcher Tyler Grimes each had RBI-doubles, while Polanco drove in the game's first run with a single.

 

Cedar Rapids added another run in the third on a single off the bat of Harrison, which drove in Walker from third base. In the seventh inning, Quad Cities left fielder Jordan Scott knocked a sacrifice fly to left field to score catcher Roberto Pena, who walked earlier in the frame, for the Bandits' only run of the doubleheader.

 

Both starting pitchers in Game 2 set career highs with nine strikeouts each. Velasquez fanned nine in 4 2/3 innings, while Kernels left-hander Mason Melotakis (3-1) struck out as many in 5 1/3 innings. The two teams struck out 25 times in Game 1 and 21 times in Game 2.

 

After dropping their first home series of the season, the River Bandits open a four-game, three-day series with the Peoria Chiefs with a doubleheader at 6 p.m. Saturday. Quad Cities will play its first consecutive doubleheaders on consecutive days in seven years. Quad Cities and Lansing split consecutive doubleheaders on May 1-2, 2006, with Quad Cities winning each Game 1 as hosts and losing Game 2. River Bandits right-hander Daniel Minor (2-0) is scheduled to face Chiefs right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (1-2) in Saturday's Game 1.

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