Normal CornBelters Win 2013 Season Opener!
Normal CornBelters @ Evansville Otters
Fri May 17, 2013
The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, won the opening game of their fourth season with a 6-4 win over the Evansville Otters on Friday night at Bosse Field.
The Otters threatened in the first inning by loading the bases, but a double play erased the threat. The CornBelters then took the first lead on a solo home run inside the left field foul pole by David Medina with one out in the top of the second inning.
Evansville tied the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the second inning when an infield error with two outs loaded the bases followed by a walk to Taylor Black to score Steve Marino, who had also reached via walk with one out.
The CornBelters regained the lead with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth when an Otters infield error kept the frame alive. Mike Schwartz scalded a triple to the left field wall to score Santiago Chirino and Matt Wright to give Normal a 3-1 lead at the game's halfway point. The Otters pieced together a Frank Martinez triple and an Andrew Clark single to cut the deficit to 3-2 after five innings.
The Belters added to their lead in the sixth with two more unearned runs. Steven Felix led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a ball by David Medina booted by the drawn-in infield. The Belters increased the lead to 5-2 when Medina was balked to second and scored on a David Remedios double.
The Otters shrunk the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh when C.J. Henry and John Schultz led off with singles, then scored with two outs on a ground ball through the right side coupled with a throwing error.
Normal increased the lead to 6-4 with a one-out home run to left in the eighth by Romulo Ruiz.
Tyler Lavigne earned his third opening day win with a six-inning performance, while Casey Upperman pitched the ninth for the save. Bryce Morrow took the loss.
The CornBelters continue the opening series in Evansville with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch with a 6:20 p.m. pre-game on 995theticket.com. The Belters will send right-hander Jose Trinidad to the mound while the Otters will counter with lefty Matt Crim. The series concludes in Evansville on Sunday before the Belters open the Corn Crib on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Windy City ThunderBolts on CEFCU Opening Night. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free magnetic schedule courtesy of CEFCU, and it is also a Busey Bank Reading Program Night in which student can redeem reading program vouchers. Opening night is also Twitter Tuesday featuring special offers on Twitter (@Normal_Baseball) that morning. Fans can also find more information on the CornBelters on Facebook and at www.normalbaseball.com or by calling 309-454-BALL (2255).
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