CLINTON – It was a great regular season. No question about that.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels got a home run and four RBIs from Jonathan Murphy, a home run and three RBIs from Adam Brett Walker and stomped the Clinton LumberKings, 15-6, Monday afternoon in the Midwest League regular-season finale for both teams.
Cedar Rapids finished with a 88-50 overall record, tying the 1990 Cedar Rapids Reds for the second-most regular-season wins in club history. Only the 1922 Cedar Rapids Bunnies won more, finishing with a 92-37 mark.
Walker went 2-for-4, concluding a monster regular season with his 27th homer, a shot to dead center in the second inning. His 109 runs driven in led the Midwest League and ranked third in club history.
Murphy hit just his second homer of the season in a four-run eighth inning. The Kernels put the game away with seven runs in the fifth inning, helping make a winner of starting pitcher Miguel Sulbaran, who threw the first five innings, allowing two runs.
Cedar Rapids finished with 14 hits, two apiece from Walker, Murphy, Jorge Polanco, Tyler Grimes, Michael Gonzales and Michael Quesada.
The playoffs begin Wednesday night, with Clinton hosting Beloit in Game 1 of their best-of-three Western Division semifinal series. The Kernels play Game 1 at Quad Cities at 7 p.m..
Games 2 and 3, if needed, are Thursday and Friday nights at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Game times are 6:35.
The pitching matchups are left-hander Brett Lee (8-4, 2.95 ERA) for the Kernels and Chris Devenski (4-3, 4.36) of QC. Game 2 starters are righty Tim Shibuya (4-0, 0.96) for Cedar Rapids and righty Joe Bircher (3-3, 4.15) for Quad Cities.
Right-hander Tim Atherton (8-5, 2.54) would get the nod for Game 3 for the Kernels.
Here is the game boxscore:
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