CornBelters Host Sell-Out Crowd, Earn Win in Exhibition Game
CornBelters use big 7th to slam Joliet
Corn Crib hosts sell out crowd of students on Education Day
Normal, Ill. - The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, used a seven-run third inning to defeat the Joliet Slammers 13-5 in exhibition play in front of a sold out crowd on Education Day at the Corn Crib on Thursday. The CornBelters will play their first regular season home game of the 2014 season (“CEFCU Opening Night”) at The Corn Crib on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. versus the Evansville Otters.
The first two Slammers hitters of the game came around to score as Darian Sandford tripled and Jose Garcia doubled, with Russ Moldenhauer driving in Garcia with a fielder’s choice ground out.
The CornBelters countered by sending 12 men to the plate in the third inning, reaching Slammers starter Andrew Busby for seven runs on seven hits in the frame. RBIs were recorded by Ozney Guillen, Josh Band, Richard Lucas, Aaron Dudley and Roman Hernandez.
Joliet rebounded for two runs in the fourth as Grant DeBruin led off with a double followed by a walk to Tyler Roberts. C.J. Epperson singled home DeBruin while Roberts scored on a wild pitch to cut the Belters lead to 7-4.
Normal increased the advantage to 9-4 with a pair of runs in the fifth as Aaron Dudley led off with a walk, advanced to third on an error and scored on Guillen’s double to left. Guillen scored on a throwing error with two outs.
The Slammers plated their final run in the sixth when Maxwell Casper led off with a single, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 9-5.
The Belters pushed three more runs across in the eighth when Mark Micowski and Santiago Chirino hit back-to-back doubles with one out. Mike Schwartz was hit by a pitch, then Dudley clubbed a two-out single to score Chrino followed by a throwing error to score Schwartz. The Belters batted in the bottom of the ninth in the exhibition and scored the final run on a solo homer to left by Micowski.
Mike Schweiss earned the win while Busby sustained the loss. Micowski led the Belters offense with a 4-for-6 day with two doubles, a home run, three runs scored and one RBI. The CornBelters knocked seven doubles.
The CornBelters also welcomed Rodney Johnson to the lineup with a one-day contract, winning the honors in a recent Fan of the Game drawing. Johnson played the second inning in right field without a defensive chance and grounded to first in his time at bat in the bottom of the inning.