CornBelters Split Twinbill at Southern Illinois
The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, split a doubleheader at Southern Illinois, falling to the Miners 4-1 before rebounding for an 8-6 win on Saturday at Rent One Park.
In the opener, the Miners scored an unearned run in the third inning to begin the scoring, but the CornBelters tied the contest in the fifth as a Cam Adams fielder's choice plated Chris Iriart. Southern Illinois regained the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI double by Luke Bonfield and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Davis. The Miners added the final insurance run by converting a lead-off walk in the sixth with an RBI fielder's choice from Nolan Earley.
Austin Dubsky (6-4) worked six innings for the victory, giving up one earned run on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. John Werner tossed the final frame for his ninth save. Connor Root (4-3) took the loss with five innings of five-hit ball with three runs (two earned) on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
In Game 2, the Belters opened the scoring with a four-run second inning, including a bases-loaded triple by James Davison Jr. and a double from Santiago Chirino. Normal added two more in the third on a Chris Iriart RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Justin Fletcher. The Miners countered in their third inning with RBI singles from Early, Chance Shepard and Bonfield to cut the Belters lead to 6-3.
A two-run double by Andrew Godbold gave the CornBelters the margin they would need in the seventh inning, as the Miners rallied on a two-run homer by Jake Willsey and a solo drive by Joe Duncan in their final time up but could not come any closer.
Thomas Nicoll (2-1) picked up the win with three hitless innings of relief with four strikeouts while Aaron Rozek (3-3) took the loss with five innings of six-run, six-hit ball with three walks and three strikeouts.
The CornBelters (45-42) are in a three-way tie for second place in the Frontier League West Division, one game behind the River City Rascals and one game ahead of the Miners (44-43).
The teams square off in another doubleheader to conclude the series at 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Rent One Park.
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