Author: Colin Witte

On a thrilling Superhero Night at the Corn Crib, the Normal CornBelters emerged victorious in a dramatic contest against the Alton River Dragons, clinching the win with a final score of 6-5. The atmosphere was electric, with 2017 fans in attendance, many dressed in superhero costumes, as the CornBelters showcased their resilience and determination in a game filled with ups and downs. The game featured standout performances from both teams, keeping the crowd on the edge until the last play.

The River Dragons struck first in the fourth inning when Xian’en Zeng launched a solo home run to left field, putting Alton up 1-0. The CornBelters quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game with a clutch single by Landen Johnson that drove in Tyler Castro. The CornBelters continued their rally, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to William Flanigan’s sacrifice fly that brought home Johnson. This back-and-forth battle set the tone for a highly competitive matchup.

Alton answered back in the fifth inning when Cole Schrank singled to right field, scoring Cooper Howell and knotting the game at 2-2. The CornBelters reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning as Landen Johnson delivered another crucial RBI single, scoring Castro again. The lead extended to 4-2 in the seventh inning on another sacrifice fly by Tyler Castro, followed by a costly error by Alton’s third baseman, allowing Terrick Thompson-Allen to score an unearned run, pushing the lead to 5-2.

The game took a dramatic turn in the eighth inning when the River Dragons, determined to stay in the game, mounted a comeback. Jordan Aguallo’s two-run double to center field cut the CornBelters’ lead to just one run. The tension in the stadium was palpable as Drake Westcott’s single to left field drove in Aguallo, tying the game at 5-5 and setting the stage for a nail-biting finish.

As the game entered the ninth inning, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation. The CornBelters’ heroics came to the fore when Tyler Castro, who had already made significant contributions throughout the game, stepped up to the plate. His sacrifice fly to center field allowed pinch-runner Peyton Niksch to score the go-ahead run, securing a 6-5 lead for the CornBelters in a thrilling finish.

The CornBelters’ pitching staff played a crucial role in effectively closing the game. Gabe Smith started strong with five solid innings, allowing just two runs and striking out three. Despite a shaky outing from Connor Jackson, who allowed a run in just a third of an inning, Bryce Louis held the line with 3.1 innings of work, allowing just one earned run. Alex McHale earned the win with a strong 1.2 innings of relief, keeping the River Dragons at bay in the final inning.

This Superhero Night will be remembered for the costumes, fun, and tenacity displayed on the field. The CornBelters, fueled by the enthusiastic crowd, edged out the River Dragons rivals in a closely contested matchup. Fans left the Corn Crib with smiles, celebrating a hard-fought victory that epitomized the fighting spirit of their home team.

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