Home runs were the norm on Wednesday night at the Corn Crib, but the Normal CornBelters clubbed the final one, a three-run blast by Asif Shah, to walk off with a 7-5 win over the River City Rascals.
Mark Samuelson put the CornBelters on the board first with a long home run that nearly reached the clubhouse in right field to lead off the second inning. The blast was his first home run with the CornBelters.
The Rascals used the long ball to take the lead in the third, and Joash Brodin crushed a long two-run homer to right with two outs..
River City added a run in the fourth to go up 3-1 when Logan Parker led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jareck West.
The CornBelters loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but only scored one run, which came home on a double play ball.
Rascals designated hitter Logan Parker deposited the first pitch of the sixth inning from Normal pitcher Ryan Sheldon onto the lawn in right field to increase the River City lead to 4-2. The CornBelters again loaded the bases in the seventh, but couldn't score.
CornBelters third baseman Daniel Cox made it a new game at 4-4 in the eighth when he hit a two-run home to the left of the batter's eye in center field off reliever Dustin Umberger, scoring Mark Samuelson who had walked.
The Rascals surged ahead in the ninth. Jareck West led off with a single, stole second and scored on a double to deep center by Bobby Burk.
The CornBelters came through in the ninth when Alvaro Ramirez reached via error with one out followed by a walk to Frank Martinez. Asif Shah turned on an 0-2 pitch and sent the game-winning bomb high onto the lawn beyond the right-field fence.
Andy Mee (2-2) pitched three innings of relief for the win. Rascals closer Derrick Miramontes (9-1) took the loss.
The series concludes tonight at 7 p.m. with left-hander Zach Robertson (7-4, 5.03) starting on the mound for the Rascals and righty Matt Mossey (1-3, 5.48) going for the CornBelters.