Loons Fall to Cedar Rapids 8-3

Inconsistency on the mound was the downfall of Loons Friday night.

After two hitless innings for starter Ralston Cash, the Kernels (8-14) figured out the righty in the third inning scoring their first run on a single to right field. They would then put up three more runs ending Cash's day after 3 1/3 innings pitched.

Joel Lima came on in relief of Cash in the fourth and breezed through the final two outs of the inning. He would struggle however in the fifth giving up four runs on three hits and two walks.

"(Cash) has had some inconsistency in getting the ball into the locations he wants," said manager John Shoemaker. "He's got some good stuff but he's been very inconsistent in the strike zone."

Cash is now 1-6 with a 6.42 ERA since making his first appearance with Great Lakes on May 28. In his last four starts he's 0-4 with a 9.47 ERA.

"He's learning a lot," Shoemaker said. "I know he'd like to be doing a little better than he is, but it's a learning experience."

The Loons (9-12) didn't help themselves at the plate either.

First baseman O'Koyea Dickson got the teams first hit in the second inning. Unfortunately they didn't get their second until second baseman Jesus Arredondo hit a double in the sixth inning.

That double did spark a rally in which Great Lakes would tack on three runs in sixth off a two-run double by leftfielder Scott Schebler and a RBI single from catcher Pratt Maynard.

"They threw a quality arm, it wasn't like they put some scrub on the mound," Maynard said. "They pitched well and did their job, we just didn't."

Much like the Loons, whose bats came alive in the second half of the game, so has Maynard's bat in the second half of the season.

Maynard batted just .219 in the first half of the season with just 13 RBIs and no home runs.

In just 14 games of second half he's batting .354 with six RBIs and two home runs bringing his overall batting average up to .254.

"I just got confident," Maynard said. "I know I can hit, everybody in that locker can hit, it's all about being confident."

Despite the loss the team may have found its confidence picking up the series win after losing its last four.

"It feels good, we're clicking right now," Maynard said. "We've just got to keep battling."