Normal Edges Traverse City 4-3
NORMAL, IL – The Normal CornBelters received a solid pitching performance from Matt Packer and fended off a late rally to beat the Traverse City Beach Bums 4-3 on Friday night at the Corn Crib.
Packer was given a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Ozney Guillen capped off three straight singles with an RBI knock, putting the CornBelters on top 1-0. Two batters later, Dylan Kelly brought home a second run with an RBI groundout.
Traverse City evened things up in the top of the fifth inning against Packer. TC loaded the bases with two outs and Jose Vargas came through with a two-run single to right, knotting the score at two.
The tie was short-lived, though, as Normal got two runs against Traverse City starter Casey Delgado in the last of the fifth. Sam Judah untied the game with a two-out single and came around to score on a Richard Lucas double two batters later to make it 4-2.
Packer exited after seven innings and gave way to Eric Anderson. Vargas greeted him with a leadoff double and scored on a double from Jovan Rosa to cut the Normal lead to 4-3. A Kevin Taylor single moved Rosa to third, but Josh Miller bounced into a double play to end the threat.
Anderson would work around a two-out single in the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the year. Packer (4-2) earned the win, giving up two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Delgado (6-6) took the loss for the Beach bums despite giving up just four runs, three earned, on nine hits in six frames.
Traverse City and Normal meet again on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. Rusty Shellhorn (4-4, 5.29) will start for the Beach Bums against the CornBelters Mike Devine (1-1, 5.40) Fans can listen to the broadcast starting at 7:45 p.m. on Classic Rock the Bear 98.1/107.1 and classicrockthebear.com.