Miners drop series opener at Normal

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Normal, IL - The Normal CornBelters defeated the Southern Illinois Miners 3-2 at The Corn Crib.  Miners stater Daniel Calhoun (3-2) pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs in the process.  He gave up five hits and struck out five batters in his second loss of the season. 

The Corn Belters took an early 2-0 lead off Calhoun in the bottom of the fourth inning and Sam Judah hit a base hit and RBI with one out to bring the first run across home plate of the game.  Corn Belters outfielder K.C. Judge hit into a ground out to bring in Steven Felix for the second run of the inning.  Felix and Judah had previously advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch by Daniel Calhoun.

With the CornBelters ahead 2-0, in the top of the seventh inning off Corn Belters starter Tyler Lavigne, Will Block hit a one out RBI double to put the Miners on the board 2-1.  The Corn Belters added more to their lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Corn Belters outfielder Bobby Rinard hit a one out inside the park home run off Miners reliever Ross Davis, after Chad Maddox had dove for the ball in right field to take a 3-1 lead.  This occured after Davis had struck out short stop Jason Thompson and second baseman Norberto Susini to begin the bottom of the eighth inning.

Heading into the top of the ninth inning and with the Miners down 3-1, Corn Belters reliever Rich Mascheri got two quick outs with a strikeout of newly signed catcher Ryan Eigsti and a line out to second by Jason Ganek.  Will Block kept the inning alive with a two out walk.  With Block on first and Darian Sandford due up, Cannon Lester pinch hit for Sandford and hit a RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2 in favor of Normal.  However, Alvaro Ramirez struck out at the hands of Mascheri as Normal won the game 3-2.  Mascheri earned his sixth save of the season. 

The Miners fall to 34-24 on the season and trail Traverse City by four games in the Eastern Division.

COURTESY: Miners Media Relations

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