Snappers finally find consistency

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Josh Flickinger/Beloit Daily News Teammates Max Schuemann (8) and Joseph Pena head back to the dugout after scoring during Beloit's nine-run third inning.

BELOIT - In the span of six at-bats Tuesday night at Pohlman Field, the Beloit Snappers reinforced why they are playing better baseball these days.

The Snappers had several outstanding plate appearances in an nine-run outburst in the third inning, which gave the club plenty of cushion in a 12-5 win over Cedar Rapids.

It was the fourth win in the last five games for the team, winners of eight of their last 13 games.

With the Snappers already holding a 4-0 lead following a two-run single earlier in the frame by Anthony Churlin, Santis Sanchez struck out for the second out.

With runners on first and second, Nick Ward began a hit parade that wouldn't end until nine runs were in and Beloit led 11-0.

Ward and Lester Madden each singled, making it 6-0. Max Schuemann doubled home another run. After Joseph Pena and Devin Foyle walked, Nick Osborne cracked a single that, combined with a hideous error by Cedar Rapids center fielder Tyler Webb, cleared the bases to make it 11-0.

Churlin, who finished the evening 3-for-5, said stability has played a role in the team's improvement.

"There's been so much movement with guys going up and down, and now it seems like we're finally having a little more stability lately," Churlin said. "We're getting a feel for each other, and the pace of play in the past month has been phenomenal. The pitchers have been great filling up the strike zone, and we've just been getting back to the dugout as fast as possible and not making as many mental or physical errors. Now, we just need to keep it up."

While the offense was lighting up the scoreboard, Snappers starting pitcher Jhenderson Hurtado, who is spending time in Beloit for a third straight season, was shutting down the Kernels.

Hurtado allowed just one hit (though it was a two-run home run to Albee Weiss) over six innings. He struck out seven batters and walked just one, much to the delight of Snappers pitching coach Don Schulze.

"He attacked the zone and did a great job," Schulze said. "This is a pretty aggressive team we were facing, but he still pitched. He didn't just go out there and nibble, and he was aggressive with the fastball and put them away."

Schulze said he's been pleased with the adjustments his pitchers have made.

"I think we're showing the maturity that we should be after being here for three-quarters of the season," Schulze said. "These guys understand that it's not college or high school anymore. They know they have to get better, because there's no place to go if they don't get better. They are just all executing a lot better. They know they have to finish strong, or they are going to end up back in Beloit next year."

The Snappers and Kernels will play game three of their four-game series Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday's boxscore

snappers 12, kernels 5

Cedar Rapids Beloit

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Steer 2b 3 1 0 0 Scuhmn 3b 5 2 2 1

Snyder 1b 4 1 1 0 Pena 2b 4 2 2 0

Javier ss 4 1 1 0 Foyle cf 3 3 2 1

Isola c 3 1 1 2 Osborne rf 5 1 1 1

Akins rf 4 0 0 0 Jones c 4 1 2 1

Weiss lf 4 1 1 2 Churlin dh 5 1 3 3

Casnva dh 3 0 1 0 Sanchez 1b 5 0 0 0

Webb cf 4 1 1 0 Ward 3b 4 1 2 1

De L Tre 3b 3 0 0 0 Madden lf 5 1 1 1

Totals 31 5 5 4 Totals 40 12 15 9

Cedar Rapids 000 020 003 - 5

Beloit 209 000 10X - 12

E- Javier, Webb DP-Cedar Rapids 1 LOB-Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 9. 2B-Schuemann 2, Foyle HR-Weiss (2)

IP H R ER BB SO

Cedar Rapids

Funderburk (L, 0-2) 2.2 8 10 7 2 3

Cabezas 2.2 2 1 0 1 2

Casanova 1.2 4 1 1 0 1

Ozoria 1 1 0 0 1 1

Beloit

Hurtado (W, 1-0) 6 1 2 2 1 7

Coker 2 1 0 0 0 2

Lebron 1 3 3 3 0 0

T-2:41. A-1,162

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