Cedar Rapids Kernels Beat Burlington Bees 9–0: Schulfer and Martinez Combined for No-Hitter
Cedar Rapids, Iowa — After a loss in the first match 5–4 against Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels went on to win 9–0 in game 2. Jose Martinez and Austin Schulfer’s individual performances led the team to a no-no, 15th in the Kernels’ modern-day history.
Coaches intended this match to be a staff game; however, when Schulfer went on the pitch, he made it virtually impossible to take him off. After the game, the pitcher confirmed that the plan was for him to play only two or three innings.
However, together with Jose Martinez, Schulfer had a no-hitter over seven innings in the second game of this doubleheader with the Bees. Despite planning to play only a couple of innings, Schulfer said that when you feel good about your game and are getting good results in the shape of quick outs as a pitcher, you feel like you can go on for longer.
In the end, Schulfer played five innings. Out of 16 batters that went out during these innings, the right-hander retired all of them but one. That one proved to be a one-out walk in the top of the first inning. That was Burlington’s only baserunner for the whole game.
Martinez, who replaced Schulfer after the fifth inning, faced six batters and retired each one. The game ended 9–0 for the Kernels, which comes as a surprise if you compare it to the first match. Burlington won the Game 1 with a run made in the seventh inning. That game finished 5–4.
Speaking to the media after the game, Schulfer talked about what this game meant for his confidence. Schulfer said that, in the end, it didn’t matter if you played in a little league, college, or high school — a no-hitter is a no-hitter. It doesn’t happen too often. He found pride in the fact that he was a part of it, together with Jose Martinez and the catcher, Chris Williams. He also praised other teammates, as, Schulfer adds, baseball is not a one-man show.
Schulfer, a right-hander and a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is a 23-year-old pitcher who spent the season mostly as a spot starter/reliever. His primary qualities are a slider, curveball, and changeup. He can also throw a good fastball. During the 9–0 blowout, Schulfer registered 93–94 miles-per-hour fastballs throughout the game.
During the season, Schulfer registered six decisions, with a 4–2 record. Thanks to this game, his earned run average dropped to 2,41. Kernels’ manager, Brian Dinkelman, praised Schulfer for his performance. Dinkleman said that Shulfer’s pretty good when he connects few good sinkers and sliders. It gets him going, and he becomes able to throw strikes.
In the game, the Kernels (22–24) had a three-run home run from Williams. Jared Akins, Jacob Pearson, and Yeltsin Encarnacion contributed with two hits each, while Jean Carlos Aries opened with a three-run home run.
On Thursday, the teams will play final games in the four-game series.