Author: Colin Witte

In a tightly contested first game of the doubleheader at the Corn Crib, the Normal CornBelters emerged victorious over the Lafayette Aviators with a score of 2-1. The win was spearheaded by a solid pitching performance from Graham Kasey, who secured his first win of the season.

The game remained scoreless through three innings, with both teams struggling to find their rhythm offensively. The Aviators broke the deadlock in the fourth inning when Tanner Holland stole home, giving Lafayette a 1-0 lead.

However, the CornBelters responded in the sixth inning. Eddie Letamendi started the rally with a single and later scored on a double by Will Jesske, tying the game at 1-1. Tyler Thompson advanced to third on the play and scored on an error by left fielder Grant Miller, which proved to be the deciding run. Jesske’s clutch hit, and the subsequent error gave the CornBelters a 2-1 lead, which they held onto for the rest of the game.

Graham Kasey pitched six strong innings, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out seven. Logan Barnett closed the game in the seventh inning to earn his first save of the season. Despite a commendable effort from Lafayette’s pitcher Elliott Rossell, who went the distance and gave up only one earned run, the Aviators couldn’t overcome their offensive struggles, managing just two hits.

The second game of the doubleheader saw a complete turnaround, with the Lafayette Aviators exploding for a 15-3 victory over the CornBelters. The Aviators’ bats came alive, led by standout performances from Josiah Miller and Brooks Sailors, each driving in four runs.

Lafayette took an early lead in the fourth inning with a two-run triple by Eli Hickman, and they never looked back. A five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a two-RBI triple from Sailors, extended their lead to 7-0. Despite a two-run double by Zach Zychowski in the bottom half of the inning, the CornBelters couldn’t keep pace.

Evan Cooke earned the win for the Aviators, pitching 4.2 innings and allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five. The CornBelters’ pitching staff struggled, with Drake Downing losing after giving up two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings. Errors and wild pitches compounded their woes, leading to unearned runs and extending the Aviators’ lead further.

Lafayette continued to pour on the offense in the later innings, with a three-run sixth and a five-run seventh. Tanner Holland’s two-RBI double and Sailors’ two-RBI single in the seventh capped off the Aviators’ scoring spree, sealing a dominant win.

Tomorrow is an off day for the CornBelters, and then they hit the road to face the Champion City Kings in a two-game series.

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