A five-run sixth inning for the CornBelters is too much for the Crushers to overcome
Normal, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, were defeated tonight by the Normal CornBelters, 9-4, as Normal comes back after the fifth inning to put the Crushers away.
The loss for the Crushers (29-35) is their third consecutive loss overall and fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of the CornBelters this season. For Normal (32-32), this is their fourth win over their previous five home games. They are at the .500 mark for the first time since they were 1-1 on May 15.
In the bottom of the third inning, the CornBelters took the lead. Dylan Kelly singled to start the inning and then Elvin Rodriguez doubled down the left field line. Kelly tried to score but a couple of great throws by Parker Norris, in left field, and Brandon Costantino, at third base, nailed Kelly at the plate. Rodriguez went to third on the throw from Norris and he would score the first run of the game on Ty Morris' single. Santiago Chirino singled before Aaron Dudley hit an RBI single to right, scoring Morris.
The Crushers went to work in the fourth inning. Jose Barraza singled to start the inning but was out as Eric Grabe grounded into a fielder's choice to short. Richard Seigel then walked and both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Max Casper hit a two-run single to left field, tying the game at two.
In the fifth inning, thParker Norrisuld take their first lead of the series when Parker Norris hit his first home run as a Crusher, a solo home run to right field.
Normal would come right back and take the lead back in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Crushers starting pitcher, Juan Caballero (0-1), walked bases loaded before giving up an RBI base hit to Justin Fletcher. Kelly came up and hit a fielder's choice, which retired Fletcher, but scored a run. With Rodriguez at the plate, Craig Lepre came home to score on a wild pitch. Rodriguez then came up big again with an RBI base hit to right field. Ty Morris capped the five run inning with an RBI single to right. The CornBelters led, 7-3.
The Crushers scratched across a run Jose Barrazath inning as Costantino scored from third on Jose Barraza's double to left field.
The Belters did not go quietly and added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brad Duffy would strike out the first two hitters before walking two straight. He then gave up RBI singles to Chirino and Dudley.
Caballero got through the first five innings with only a few mistakes. But the sixth inning was a different story and he was given the loss after going 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. He also walked five Belters. Jordan McCoy got the final two outs in the sixth inning. Duffy allowed two runs on three hits and three walks over 1.2 innings. Josh Laxer recorded the final out in the eighth inning.
Chris Carmain (4-6) started for the CornBelters and picked up the win. He allowed 10 hits but only four runs, three earned runs. Matthew Chavarria pitched 1.1 innings and Brennan Smith pitched one inning.
Barraza singled and doubled tonight and now has a six game on-base streak. Oliver went 2-5 and is now on a four-game hit streak. Three of those four games have been multi-hit contests. Over the past three days, Lake Erie's starting pitchers have allowed 23 total runs.
The Crushers will wrap this series up at The Corn Crib on Sunday. The Crushers will announce their starting pitcher tomorrow, while Normal will send righty Horatio Acosta (5-2, 3.47) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 PM.