Elite Prospects

Cornwell, Taveras Silence Kernels in 5-1 Triumph

May 20, 2023 – Midwest League (MWL) – Peoria Chiefs News Release

Cedar Rapids, IA- The duo of Alex Cornwell and Leonardo Taveras allowed just three hits Saturday in Peoria’s 5-1 win over Cedar Rapids. The Chiefs picked up their 20th win of the year in the process.

In a battle of left-handers, it was Cornwell who outpitched Kernels starter Jordan Carr. Cornwell retired the first seven batters he faced and blanked the Kernels through five.

The Peoria offense provided some early run support off of Carr that proved to be more than enough. With the bases empty and two outs in the top of the second, Francisco Hernandez hit an opposite-field homer, his first of the year, to stake Peoria to a 1-0 lead.

An inning later, the Peoria offense pieced together two more runs. After a walk and a wild pitch placed Elijah Cabell at second with one out, Nathan Church singled him home to make it 2-0. Two batters later, a Jimmy Crooks single plated Church to extend the lead to 3-0.

In the sixth, Peoria back-to-back knocks from Tovalin and Hernandez put runners at second and third for Ramon Mendoza. With the infield in, Mendoza squibbed a slow ground ball towards second, allowing Tovalin to motor home to make it 4-0.

In the home half, the Kernels finally got to Cornwell. With runners at first and second and one out, Kernels center fielder Emmanuel Rodriguez grounded towards Tovalin at first. His throw to second trickled into left field, allowing Jeferson Morales to score from second. Cornwell was then lifted in favor of Leonardo Taveras. The hard-throwing Taveras recorded a fly out and a strikeout to end the frame.

Peoria wasted no time pushing the lead back to four. In the top of the seventh, Church tripled to center, placing him at third with one out in the inning. On the next pitch, McKeithan doubled him home to make it a 5-1 ballgame. Both Church and McKeithan tacked on three hits Saturday to carry the Chiefs offensively. Taveras ultimately recorded the final 11 outs of the contest. The game ended in the most unusual fashion. With a 3-2 count on Misael Urbina, the Kernels batter committed a pitch clock violation and was ruled out to end the contest. All told, Taveras did not allow a hit over 3.2 innings of work. He whiffed eight batters. Over five May appearances, Taveras has a 19.4 K/9.

Peoria will look to split the series Sunday when they send Ian Bedell to the mound. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

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