Kernels playoff bound
Hank Conger
Hank Conger

Posted Sep 3, 2007

For the first time since 2004, the Cedar Rapids Kernels have qualified for the Midwest League post-season with a 6-4 win over the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field in Peoria on Sunday afternoon.

Hank Conger hit his eleventh home run of the season in the second inning and had an RBI double in the seventh to finish the day two for five with two RBI. Tyler Johnson had a huge two RBI triple in the seventh and Abel Nieves singled to bring home Johnson to cap the four run comeback.

Barret Browning (9-4) picked up the win in relief of Kernels starter Tommy Mendoza, allowing two hits and a walk with one strikeout over two innings pitched. Marco Albano pitched a scoreless inning of relief and Warner Madrigal struck out two over the final two innings to earn his 20th save of the season.

Peoria reliever Jayson Ruhlman (5-3) allowed three run on two hits and struck out three over three innings pitched to take the loss.

The Kernels are currently tied with Quad Cities for first place in the MWL West and will either play Beloit or Clinton in the first round of the MWL Playoffs on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. The first game will be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium with games two and three played on the road as a result of the first half qualifiers having home field advantage.

If the Kernels finish in first place, they will host Clinton on Wednesday, the first half wild card team. If the Kernels finish as the wild card qualifier, they will host Beloit, who was the first half champion.

The final game of the 2007 MWL regular season will be Monday afternoon at 2 pm in Peoria as Amalio Diaz will start for the Kernels. The game can be heard on the internet at , or on 1450 KMRY AM in eastern Iowa.

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