Local News

CornBelters Comeback Falls Short

Despite erasing a four-run deficit, the Normal CornBelters fell 6-5 to the River City Rascals Monday night at the Corn Crib. Normal drops to 27-25 following the loss, as the division-leading Rascals move to 36-15 on the season.

An eighth-inning home run by River City right fielder Jason Patton proved to be the difference in Normal's first home game since the All-Star break. With two outs, Patton drove a 2-2 pitch from Liam Ohlmann (L, 2-2) over the wall in right-center to break a 5-5 deadlock. The Rascals added three insurance runs in the ninth with an RBI single from Doug Sanders and a two-run single from Joash Brodin.

Both starting pitchers picked up a no-decision, as Tyler Lavigne went six innings for Normal, allowing five runs and four hits. Don Lisi worked 4.2 innings, giving up three hits and five earned runs. Kirkland Rivers (W, 5-1) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the win out of the bullpen.

Steve Alexander got the scoring going in the second inning, drilling a solo home run to left field, his 16th of the year.
River City quickly tied the score with a leadoff homer in the top of the third off the bat of Bobby Burk. A walk to Williams and an infield single by Chris McClendon then put Rascals on the corners with nobody out. Sanders put River City out front 2-1 with an RBI single that scored Williams, then Stephen Holdren made it 3-1 with a ground rule double that plated McClendon. The Rascals would score one more in the inning on a Chad Maddox sacrifice fly that brought Sanders home.

Williams scored an unearned run for River City in the fourth, after he singled and eventually reached third on a wild pitch and throwing error. Sanders grounded out, but it was enough to bring the run home for a 5-1 Rascals lead.

The CornBelters got to work in the fifth inning, scoring four runs to tie the game. After loading the bases on three consecutive singles, Brandon Newton grounded out but scored Mike Mobbs. Now trailing 5-2, Frank Martinez doubled down the third base line, allowing Tyler Keeble to score. River City went to the bullpen following the double, bringing in Brandon Cunniff. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Steve Alexander drew a walk, but ball four got away allowing both Newton and Martinez to score, but River City would put the game away in the eighth and ninth.

Normal and River City square off Tuesday night at 7 P.M. in game two of the series at the Corn Crib. Michael Click (0-0, 4.36) gets the start for the CornBelters against Erick Carillo (0-2, 10.29) of River City.

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