NORMAL, IL–The River City Rascals snapped their six-game losing streak on Saturday night at the Corn Crib, beating the Normal CornBelters 8-5 to even the series at a game apiece. In the process, they snapped Normal’s eight-game winning streak, and nine-game home winning streak. Braxton Martinez, Zach Lavy, Ransom LaLonde and Trevor Achenbach each had two RBIs on the night, with Martinez finishing with three hits.
The Rascals jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the second inning. After a leadoff walk from Mike Jurgella and a double from Kronenfeld, Martinez brought in Jurgella on an RBI groundout, which was followed by a run-scoring single from LaLonde and a sacrifice fly from Achenbach. In the third inning, they scored four more runs, on a two-run, bases-loaded double from Lavy, a sacrifice fly from LaLonde, and an RBI single from Achenbach. The Rascals made it 8-0 on an RBI single from Martinez in the fourth.
The CornBelters, who were held without a hit through the game’s first three innings, got a leadoff single from Derrick Loveless in the bottom of the fourth, immediately followed by a two-run home run to right field by Andrew Godbold. The Belters would score three more unanswered runs to chip away at the Rascals lead, after an RBI groundout from Santiago Chirino in the fifth, a run-scoring single from Chirino in the seventh, and an RBI groundout from Cody Erickson in the eighth.
Joe Iorio came on to pitch for the Rascals in the ninth, and after allowing a leadoff hit to James Davison Jr., he struck out Chirino and got Derrick Loveless to ground into a game-ending double play to seal the win, earning his third save of the season.
Josh Kimborowicz (5-4) got the win, going five innings and allowing three runs, walking three and striking out four. Belters starter Jacinto Garcia (5-3) took the loss, allowing eight runs in four innings. He was ejected two pitches into the fifth inning for throwing at LaLonde.
The Rascals (39-39) and Belters (41-33) play the rubbermatch of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm CT. Hector Hernandez is expected to start for the Rascals, opposite Zach Kirby of the CornBelters.