Cedar Rapids' bullpen retired 18 of the last 19 batters before walking off in the bottom of the 11th inning Thursday night. The host Kernels (27-19, 58-58) walk-off 4-3 victory opened a four-game series against the Cougars (27-19, 72-44).
The Kernels tied the Cougars for best record in the second-half Western Division standings. The Cougars already have a playoff spot secured, which technically allows Cedar Rapids the first-place stance.
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Both bullpens buckled down after David Garner gave up 2 runs to the Kernels in the eighth inning. Mitch Garver's RBI single knotted the game at 3-3 and brought in Cougars reliever Jasvir Rakkar.
The right-hander ended the inning with a groundout and tossed a perfect ninth to bring the game into extras. Engelb Vielma started a promising 10th with a leadoff double, but nothing came of it as Rakkar shut down the Kernels again.
Garver's leadoff double in the 11th had a different outcome. With Francisco Carrillo (0-1) on the mound, Bryan Haar ripped a single off the left-field wall to score Garver and give Cedar Rapids the win.
Wild Things 8, Boomers 6:
The Schaumburg Boomers nearly overcame an 8-0 deficit but fell short against the visiting Washington Wild Things.
Washington became the first visiting team to win a series at Boomers Stadium this season, opening a 3-0 lead in the first on 4 singles. Washington tacked on 2 runs in the fourth and 3 in the seventh against starter Hunter Ackerman to lead 8-0. Ackerman worked 6⅓ innings in the loss.