The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, swept the Gateway Grizzlies with an 8-4 victory Tuesday night at the Corn Crib. A quiet offensive night for the CornBelters turned around in the late innings as the team finished its homestand with a 5-1 record.
After the 2nd inning Gateway held the CornBelters scoreless until the bottom of the 8th inning. Evan Button's errant throw following a Frank Martinez single allowed Alvaro Ramirez to score and tie the game 4-4. Cox then reached on an error that scored Martinez and gave Normal a 5-4 lead. Five batters later, Colin Moro hit a bases-clearing double to give the CornBelters the decisive 8-4 lead.
Normal started the scoring when Steven Alexander led off the 2nd with a solo blast that just cleared the left field wall to put the CornBelters up 1-0. That lead grew four batters later as Colin Moro singled home Asif Shah. On that same play, Gateway center fielder Joe Agreste's throw got away, allowing Tyler Keeble to score and give Normal a 3-0 lead.
Gateway took two of those runs back quickly, as Charlie Lisk singled with the bases loaded, scoring Landon Hernandez and Tyler Heil cutting the CornBelters lead to 3-2. The Grizzlies plated two an inning later as Jeremy Cresswell and Heil hit consecutive singles each with the bases loaded to give Gateway a pair of runs and a 4-3 lead.
Jacob Liedka improves to 2-0 after going 2.1 innings giving up only two hits and striking out four. Gateway's Mark Brackman falls to 4-2 with the loss. Cox ended up 0-4 on the night, putting an end to his 20-game hit streak.
Normal (19-11) hits the road Wednesday to face Southern Illinois (22-7) at 7 P.M. Ryan Sheldon (4-1, 2.29) will start for the CornBelters against Shawn Joy (3-2, 3.46) of the Miners.
The CornBelters signed two players Tuesday, pitcher Wade Morrison and catcher AJ Miller. Morrison split his season last year with the Sioux City Explorers and the Grand Prairie AirHogs, going 0-1 with a 6.58 ERA, giving up four home runs, walking four and striking out 16 through 26 innings. Miller played for Lafayette College in Pennsylvania this past season finishing with a .385 average, 52 RBIs and 12 home runs. The CornBelters also released catcher and former Illinois State Redbird Gabe DeMarco.
article courtesy Normal Cornbelters