Normal CornBelters Comeback Falls Short
Normal CornBelters @ Evansville Otters
Sun May 19, 2013
The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, gave up a lead in a big seventh inning and suffered their first loss of the season by an 8-7 score to the Evansville Otters on Sunday at Bosse Field. The CornBelters will play their first regular season home game of the 2013 season at The Corn Crib on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. versus the Windy City Thunderbolts (CEFCU Opening Night).
For the third straight game, the Belters (2-1) scored first with two runs in the opening frame. Mike Schwartz led off the game with a double followed by a base hit with one out by Steven Felix, who moved to third on the throw. Romulo Ruiz drove both home with a single to center field to give the Belters a 2-0 first-inning lead.
The Otters (1-2) scored a run in the fifth without a hit when C.J. Henry led off the frame on first after being hit by a pitch, then stole two bases and came home on a fielder's choice to cut the Belters' lead to 2-1 going to the sixth inning.
Evansville battled back by batting 11 men and scoring seven runs in the seventh inning, beginning with a lead-off walk to Ryan Kresky, who scored the tying run on an infield single by Frank Martinez after moving to third on a C.J. Henry single and a sacrifice. Henry scored on a double to the left field wall by Andrew Clark to the give the hosts a 3-2 lead. Frank Martinez drove in a run on a single and went to third on a double by Andrew Clark, then scored when a ground ball to the drawn-in infield was misplayed. Nick Schwaner looped a single to center to score Clark. A walk re-loaded the bases, which were cleared by a three-run double to the left field wall by Ryan Kresky to give the Otters an 8-2 lead going to the eighth inning.
The CornBelters rallied right away in the eighth with five straight hits with one out, with RBIs recorded on single by Steven Felix and a three-run homer to right by David Medina to cut the deficit to 8-7. The Belters pushed the tying run to third base in the ninth but came up empty for the first loss of the season.
Coty Saranthus earned the win in relief and Eric Massingham recorded the scoreless ninth inning for the save. CornBelters reliever Ross Davis took the loss.
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