Wes Swackhamer drilled a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning but it wasn't enough as the Swing of the Quad Cities were defeated, 4-1, by the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Thursday night at John O'Donnell Stadium. Cedar Rapids righty Jesse Smith was dominant, allowing only one base hit in five scoreless innings.
With the Swing down 4-0 entering the eighth inning, reliever T.J. Stanton retired the first two Swing hitters without a problem. But Swackhamer battled to a full count before tattooing a solo homer to the sidewalk in right field. The long ball was the first of the season for Swackhamer, and the third of his professional career.
But closer Frederic DeLoizaga-Carney ended any threat in the bottom of the ninth inning, striking out two and coaxing a game-ending groundout from the Swing's Derry Hammond.
The Kernels jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first inning, as Sean Rodriguez reached on an error and Freddy Sandoval singled him home. After Kyle McClellan worked two scoreless innings, the Kernels scored once in the fourth and once more in the fifth innings.
Cedar Rapids added another run on Dennis Medina in the sixth inning, when Nate Sutton tripled and Richard Giannotti singled him home.
McClellan picked up the loss for the Swing, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two. Dennis Medina worked two innings, allowing one run, and Jaymie Torres threw a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to finish it out.
UP NEXT: The Swing and Kernels continue the series on Friday, as Matt Scherer (1-0, 1.69) gets the call against Karl Gelinas (0-0,6.00). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., and coverage on Progressive Talk AM 1270 will begin at 6:15
PROMOTION: The Swing will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the renovated John O'Donnell Stadium on Friday. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a Swing of the Quad Cities baseball, courtesy of Orthopedic Specialists, and fans will be treated to a special arrival at the ballpark by Quad Cities Skydiving. In addition, the game will be followed by fireworks in the second show of the season.