Cedar Rapids Kernels Report

Sitting six games above .500 at 28-22, the Cedar Rapids Kernels are 4.5 games back in the Midwest League's Western Division.

With eight wins in their last 11 games, the Kernels are the hottest team in the league.

A 23-4 mark when leading after five innings sets the tone but they are 0-17 when trailing after seven frames, one of five teams not to have a come from behind victory late in the game.

They have won a league best 14 games in contests decided by four or more runs and are a respectable 9-8 in one-run decisions.

After going 12-8 in April, the Kernels responded with a 15-14 May, but their batting average improved by over 30 points between the two months.

Cedar Rapids vaulted to the number four spot in team batting average at .259. They are also tied for the league lead in homers with 37 and while they have drawn the second fewest walks, they do pace the circuit in stolen bases with 78. Four players have registered 11 or more stolen bases.

Chris Pettit's current 16-game hitting streak is the third best mark in the league, trailing a 17-game streak from Matt Sweeney during the month of April. Sweeney cooled off in May with a .250 average after tearing out of the gate with a .349 mark in 17 April games. Hank Conger also ranked high with an 11-game hitting streak that ended on May 27. He hit .325 over that span of games.

Pettit is hitting .412 over the streak with seven doubles, two homers, eight walks and 16 runs scored. He has a .508 on base percentage over that span. Pettit, coincidentally, leads the Midwest League in hitting at .362, doubles with 22, is second in on base percentage at .436, is third in slugging percentage at .591, extra base hits with 28, runs scored with 36, and is fourth in hits with 63. No other regular is hitting higher than .288.

The Kernels pitching staff ranks fifth with a 3.27 team ERA, tossing five shutouts and a league leading three complete games. They also lead the Midwest League in fewest walks allowed (100) and are second in homers surrendered (21). They do, however, rank dead last in saves (10). Three starters have an ERA under 3.00.

Much like Pettit offensively, right-hander Doug Brandt leads the league with a 1.17 ERA over 46 innings, going 3-1 with just eight walks issued and 48 K's. He has given up two runs or less in each of his seven starts and six earned total on the season.

Sean O'Sullivan is fourth in the league with 62.2 innings pitched and his 2.44 ERA puts him tenth best. The right-hander has allowed one earned run over his last 19.2 innings and has limited the opposition to to earned or less in eight of his 10 starts.

David Herndon has tossed two complete games and is 6-2 on the year. Herndon came into Friday's game without an earned run allowed over 12 innings, giving up three over 7.1 but earning the win. He walked his first batter since April 27, going 28.2 frames without issuing a free pass.

Tim Schoeninger has cruised to a 7-2 record, tying him for the second most wins on the circuit. He is the lone Kernels pitcher to record a complete game shutout. He has surrendered two runs or less in five of his nine outings.

Defensively, the Kernels rank 14th in the 16-team league, holding a .961 fielding percentage. They have committed 76 errors on the year in 1,894 total chances. Sweeney and P.J. Phillips have combined to commit 26 miscues on the left side of the infield. Pettit, meanwhile, is tied at the top of the league with eight outfield assists. They rank only higher than the Fort Wayne Wizards in caught stealing percentage, nabbing 15 runners in 71 attempts - good for 21.1 percent.

Conger has speared 12 in 53 attempts or 22.6 percent but does lead the team in homers with seven and RBIs (28). After Friday's game, Conger has collected hits in 15 of his last 16 contests with seven doubles and a homer over his last seven games.


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