CRESTWOOD, Ill. – The Normal CornBelters, presented by Illinois Corn Farmers, pulled away twice and broke a four-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Windy City ThunderBolts on Saturday night at Standard Bank Stadium.
The CornBelters broke up a pitcher’s duel in the sixth inning. Dylan Kelly led off with a single and Mitch Elliott was hit by a pitch with both scoring on a double to the left field corner by Santiago Chirino. Dillon Haupt then homered to left to give the guests a 4-0 lead.
The ThunderBolts cut into their deficit in the seventh inning when Tim Zier plated two runs on a bases-loaded flare to right field. Francisco Carillo took over mound duties for the Belters from starter Mike Schweiss but the Bolts reloaded the bases and cut the margin to 4-3 on a ground out by Charley Thurber.
The Belters padded their cushion in the eighth inning with a two-run homer to right by Aaron Dudley and an RBI single by Elvin Rodriguez to regain a four-run lead at 7-3.
Mike Schweiss (4-4) earned the win with six and one-third innings, giving up three runs (earned) on five hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Jake Fisher (5-4) took the loss with five and two-thirds innings of work, giving up four runs (earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
The series concludes with a 5:05 p.m. Sunday game at Standard Bank Stadium as right-handers Chris Carmain (2-5, 4.58 ERA) for Normal and Clay Chapman (5-3, 2.77) for Windy City duel on the hill. Broadcast time on WJBC.com is 4:50. The Belters take Monday off and return to the Corn Crib for a brief three-game homestand against the Schaumburg Boomers.