The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, concluded the season on Sunday evening with a 5-3 victory over the Florence Freedom at the Corn Crib. The CornBelters finish the season with a record of 46-50, two games better than the inaugural season.
The CornBelters finally broke onto the scoreboard first, but put up a crooked number in doing so. Steve Alexander led off with a double, then scored on a one-out double by Daniel Cox. Mark Samuelson and Andrew Barbaro walked to load the bases, then with two outs, Tyler McNeely singled up the middle to score Cox and Samuelson. Barbaro came home on a wild throw on an infield hit by Frank Martinez to give the Belters a 4-0 lead, and McNeely scored to make it 5-0 when Asif Shah hit the third double of the inning.
The Freedom moved within striking distance in the eighth. Florence loaded the bases with one out, and former CornBelter Jeff Dunbar singled in two runs with two outs to end the night for starter Tyler Lavigne. Junior Arrojo blooped a double inside the right field line off reliever Marshall Schuler to score the remaining run, but Schuler was able to leave the potential tying runs in scoring position to end the frame.
Tyler Lavigne (7-9) earned the win in his 7.2 innings, giving up the three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Marshall Schuler earned his 12th save. Freedom starter Anthony Bello (3-8) took the loss.
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