05/11/2018 10:41 PM -
The Normal CornBelters wasted no time at all to get the offensive going this season and to give their new manager, Billy Horn, his first victory in an 11-6 win over the Traverse City Beach Bums on Friday (May 11) night in front of 2,856 fans.
“You know getting the first win here as a manager for the first time is special. It means a lot to me and my family, and now we can breathe,” said Manager Billy Horn.
After finishing 9-2 last season for the CornBelters, Scott Sebald was given the opening night start. The Cincinnati native settled down after giving up a two-out home run in the first and finished the day with six innings pitched, two strikeouts, and only allowing two more runs.
The Normal offensive was constant throughout the whole game and scored in the first three innings. Christ Iriart recorded three doubles and drove in three. His first double came in the bottom half of the first and drove in Nick Cain for the first run of the season to tie the game. In the third, Justin Fletcher knocked a one-out triple then came around to score after an error from the Traverse City third basemen.
Iriart picked up his second double of the night in the third to bring in the centerfielder Cain once again, followed by a one-out RBI single from Andrew Godbold. Derrick Loveless brought in Iriart in groundout for the third run of the inning.
The CornBelters offensive ignited once again in the fifth and got into the Beach Bum’s bullpen early. Iriart started the rally again with his third double of the night that brought around Santiago Chirino to score and give Normal a 6-3 lead. Derek Loveless followed suit and knocked a two-run home run to left field to put the CornBelters up by five. The five-run inning ended with a throwing error that brought in Tanner Lubach.
Traverse City sparked in the eighth inning and put up three runs, but with the work of Nick Bozman and Anthony Herrera the CornBelters held on to the five-run lead.
“We are getting off on the right foot and the best part about it is that we were able to get to their bullpen and that is something we preach,” said Horn. “We did a great job in that getting on the board early, and that allowed Scott (Sebald) to go six innings and bullpen came in and shut them down. Hopefully, we can continue this into tomorrow.”
NEXT HOME GAME DETAILS
The CornBelters are back in action tomorrow against Traverse City for game two at 7:05 p.m. The State Farm Saturday on May 12 is also Star Wars Night at The Corn Crib in Normal, featuring a lightsaber giveaway to the first 500 kids in attendance, character appearances, and a special jersey auction to benefit The Miracle League of Central Illinois.
YWCA McLean County is also the CornBelters’ community spotlight partner of the game. Fans can purchase Reserved Box Seats for $10 each using promo code “YWCA” online at normalbaseball.com, over the phone by calling 309-454-2255, or at the MICU Box Office at The Corn Crib and $5 of each ticket purchased will go back to the YWCA.