NORMAL, Ill. (August 8, 2018) – The Normal CornBelters (39-32) used three, three-run innings to clinch the series in a 9-3 over the Gateway Grizzlies (33-43) and extended their season-high win streak of six on Wednesday night.
“It’s been a fun little ride, but like I say every day, we got a long way to go. We got a very good ball club, guys are playing with a lot of confidence. That clubhouse in there is something very special,” said Manager Billy Horn. “Tomorrow we’ll have Landwehr on the bump, we are excited to have Jack go and we are going to go for the sweep. We got to keep this winning streak going and we got to win every day because everybody is right on our tail. This can change in the matter of two or three games.”
The first of three, three-run outburst began in the first. James Davison Jr. led off with one of his two infield singles tonight. The speedster now has 35 hits in 22 games along with 12 multi-hit games. Andrew Godbold tied the game 1-1 on a two-out single. Justin Fletcher kept the inning alive on a double that gave the Belters a 3-1 lead. Normal has now scored in the first inning in the last four games.
Connor Root (3-1) settled down after giving up a run in the first and threw three straight shutout innings to earn his third straight victory. Gateway got their final damage of the righty in the fifth on a two-out home run. The former Chicago Dog last six solid and picked up five strikeouts to set a new season high in his third start.
Again Normal displayed excellent two-out hitting in the fourth. Santiago Chirino doubled to center and brought in Michael Baca to go up 4-1. Derrick Loveless followed with his 10th home run of the season and the CornBelters lead 6-1 over Gateway.
In the eighth, Chi Chi launched his third home run of the season to make it 9-2. The 2018 All-Star extended his home hit streak to 19 games and his home on-base streak to 24 games.
Thomas Nicoll threw a scoreless seventh to maintain his 0.00 ERA and added another strikeout to his total of 13 in 12.1 innings. Jess Amedee made his CornBelter debut in style. The former Pirates farmhand only needed seven pitches to throw a perfect eighth. Jonathan de Marte completed the ninth and gave up a solo shot with two outs.
The CornBelters also continued their home win streak of seven in the series clincher. Normal is 6-1 in the month of August. Jack Landwehr takes the bump tomorrow and looks to complete the sweep of Gateway, first pitch is at 7:05 p.m.