Cedar Rapids, Iowa– The Lansing Lugnuts arrived in Cedar Rapids as the hottest hitting team in the Midwest League. The Cedar Rapids Kernels apparently didn't get the memo, as they stifled the Lugnuts all night Friday to take a 1-0 win in the series opener at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Cedar Rapids's Jordan Walden and Lansing's Nate Starner were locked in a duel from the start, as each refused to yield a run through five innings. The Kernels had the best chance to score in that time during the third frame, but left the bases loaded when Jay Brossman lined out to Kevin Ahrens at third base.
The Kernels finally broke through in the sixth against Starner when Gordie Gronkowski delivered an RBI single into left field that scored Clay Fuller from second base. It turned out to be the only run of the game.
Walden (1-1), who got the win, finished the game throwing six innings and allowing just two hits. He fanned six in the start.
Starner (0-1) suffered the hard luck loss after tossing six frames of his own. He allowed just one earned run and also struck out six batters.
Lansing had a chance in the ninth, but left runners stranded at first and second base as Ryan Brasier recorded his third save.
The Lugnuts had just two runners in scoring position all night and were held to three hits, their lowest output of the season.
Lansing (6-2) and Cedar Rapids (4-4) will play the second game of the set on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Lefty Brad Mills (0-0, 6.75) will get the start for the Lugnuts, while southpaw Michael Anton (0-0, 7.20) will hurl for the Kernels.