Clinton Lumberkings at Cedar Rapids Kernels

April 12th, 2004

Ian Kinsler SS 3 0 0 0
Dane Bubela RF 3 1 2 1
Juan Senreiso CF 4 0 0 0
Andrew Wishy LF 4 0 0 0
Josh Kreuzer DH 3 0 0 0
Kevin Richardson C 4 1 1 0
Brock Jacobsen 1B 4 0 1 1
Emerson Frostad 3B 3 0 0 0
Casey Benjamin 2B 3 0 1 0
Quan Cosby CF 4 1 1 0
Howie Kendrick 2B 4 1 1 0
Brandon Wood SS 3 1 0 0
Bobby Wilson C 3 0 0 1
Matt Brown 3B 2 1 1 1
Caleb Maher 1B 3 0 0 1
Brandon Balkcom LF 3 0 1 1
Aaron Peel DH 3 0 1 0
Sean Rodriguez RF 3 0 0 0

Clinton 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
Cedar Rapids 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 X 4 5 1

E-Jacobsen, Kendrick, LOB CLI-5, CR-3, 2B-Jacobsen, Brown, HR-Bubela, CS-Kinsler, SACF-Wilson

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Tim Cunningham 3 3 3 3 1 2 L (0-1)
Joldy Watts 2 2 1 1 1 3 ND
Williams Sarmiento 3 0 0 0 0 3 ND

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Michel Simard 5 4 2 2 2 8 W (1-0)
Allen Buckley 2.1 1 0 0 1 3 ND
Bob Zimmermann 1.2 0 0 0 0 2 SV (1)

WP-Watts, Simard
HP-Darren Budahn, BS-Tim Daub
T-2:12, A-862

Clinton Herald

It couldn't last forever.

After opening the 2004 season baseball season with three straight wins, the Clinton Lumberkings tasted defeat for the first time Monday night.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels erupted for three runs in the first inning and held the lead the rest of the way in a 4-2 victory over the Lumberkings.

Two straigh singles and a walk loaded the bases for Cedar Rapids in it's big inning. Bobby Wilson followed with a sacrifice fly and Matt Brown knocked in two more runs with a double to left field.

Clinton scratched out a run in the third inning when Dane Bubela belted a solo homer to right with two outs. Bubela had two of Clinton's five hits on the night.

The Lumberkings added another run in the fourth. With two outs, Kevin Richardson singled to left field. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored when Brock Jacobsen doubled to left field.

However, Cedar Rapids answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth on Blake Balkcom's RBI single to right.

Michel Simard (1-0) struck out eight in five innings while picking up the win. Bob Zimmermann worked the last 1.2 innings for his first save.

In all, Cedar Rapids pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts.

Tim Cunningham (0-1), who pitched the first three innings for Clinton, was tagged with the loss.

The teams play the second game of their four game series, set tonight at 6:30pm. The series continues with games Wednesday and Thursday.

Cedar Rapids Gazette
by Jeff Johnson

Michel Simard's post game activites last night included having a huge bad of ice wrapped around his right arm. That's a pitcher's ritual, a measure of preventative medicine.

They also included lounging with feet elevated in one of the upholstered chairs in the Cedar Rapids Kernels' clubhouse. His eyes were affixed to the clubhoust television, intently watching the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs. What else would you expect a kid from Quebec to be doing?

"I grew up playing hockey some," Simard, after he pitched the Kernels to a 4-2 win over the CLinton Lumberkings at chilly Memorial Stadium, "But my mom and dad didn't really even want me to play hockey because they thought it was too violent. So I played a lot of baseball."

Simard is a Quebec City native whom his teammates have nicknamed "Frenchy". Hey no one said baseball players were a creative lot.

He played on a traveling team out of Montreal as a youth that's how he ended up in the United States. A scout from the Toronto Blue Jays saw him pitch and contacted the head coach at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida.

Simard pitched there in 2002 then was drafted as a potentional draft and follow player that June by the Anaheim Angels. The Angels ended up signing the 6 foot 3 right hander after a 10-0 sophmore season at St. Petersburg.

"Playing baseball is actually awesome," said Simard. in his French Canadian accent. "It's a privilege for me to play professional baseball.. There are five guys in this orginization from Quebec, so it's an honor to be here, to be on of them."

Simard ended up going five inning in his first start of the Midwest League season, allowing four hits and a coupl eof runs. A moving fastball in the high 80's to low 90s and a good slider led to eight strikeouts.

"Those eight strikeouts are impressive in five innings," said Kernels manager Bobby Magallanes, "He was throwing his breaking ball over for strikes, early in the count. For his first outing. I'll take that any day."

It's always important on cold nights to score runs early and that's exactly what the Kernels (3-1) did last night.

Quan Cosby and Howie Kendrick singled leading off against Clinton starter Tim Cunningham (0-1), then Brandon Wood walked to load the bases. Bobby Wilson's sacrifice fly made it 1-0, then Matt Brown doubled down the third base ling to score a second run and set up a third.

"You're not warm to begin with, even when the game starts." said Magallanes. "Then as it goes on it gets colder and colder. To me it's huge to score early.

Simard and relievers Allen Buckley and Bob Zimmerman took care of the rest. Buckley threw 2.1 scoreless innings, while Zimmerman got the final five outs and the save, including coaxing a double play grounder to get out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth.

And while the rest of his teammates appeared to be freezing out there on the field in the upper 30s temperatures. Frenchy insisted he wasn't. He's from Canada, after all.

"That was cold, but that was more uncomfortable than cold." Simard said. "It wasn't that cold out there. I was fine."

Kernels Knowledge
Blake Balkcom had the Kernels' other RBI last night, driving home Brown with a RBI single in the fourth. Clinton's runs came in the third and fourth. Dane Bubela had a solo home run in the third for the Lumberkings.

The Kernels and Clinton (3-1) play the second game of their four game series tonight at 6:30. It's right hander Abel Moreno making his first start of the season for Cedar Rapids, and righty Jesse Chaves (1-0, 0.00 ERA) for Clinton.