05/16/2018 4:48 PM -
In the first extra innings game of the season, the Normal CornBelters fell 2-1 to the Lake Erie Crushers on Wednesday.
Once again the CornBelters got a solid performance from their starting pitching. In his first start as a CornBelter, Jacinto Garcia limited Lake Erie to just one run in five innings of work along with five strikeouts and not allowing any free passes.
After spending last season in the Mexican League, Garcia pitched his way out of trouble multiple times. Lake Eire got to him in the fifth after a ground rule double, and then a single brought in the first run of the game.
Normal again struggled with putting something together at the plate and couldn’t seem to solve the Crushers’ starting pitching.
In the third, Erickson reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second after a two-out walk to Bauer, but both were left stranded. Derrick Loveless knocked his sixth hit of the season in the fourth with two outs and was left on.
Santiago Chirino singled in the sixth to continue his hit streak on the young season. The Belter shortstop now has ten hits and currently leads the Frontier League. The magic number is now at 38 for Chirino to become the all-time hit leader in the league.
The bullpen picked up right where Garcia left off and did it in perfect fashion. Nick Bozman (6th), Jose De Marte (7th), Anthony Herrera (8th), and Kuehl McEachern (9th) all retired the Crushers in order.
The CornBelters finally got on the board in the eighth. Cody Erickson roped a leadoff double and came around to score on a single by DJ Martinez for his first RBI of the season.
In extras, Normal threatened right away. Erickson and Martinez repeated back-to-back hits in the tenth. Chirino loaded the bases with a two-out walk but were all left stranded.
Lake Erie walked it off in next half-inning after a leadoff single and then a triple to bring in the winning run.
The CornBelters look to avoid the sweep tomorrow in the final game of the series against the Crushers, first pitch is at 11:05 am.
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