O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals defeated the Normal CornBelters 5-3 on Saturday night at CarShield Field, taking the 2-0 series lead in the process. Paul Kronenfeld, one night after his three home run, eight RBI perforance, hit a three-run homer in his first at bat to put the Rascals up for good in the first inning. The CornBelters left 12 runners on base in the loss, including seven in scoring position.
The CornBelters got the scoring started, getting back-to-back two out hits, including an RBI single from Andrew Godbold, who finished with three hits on the night. The Rascals immediately answered, with an RBI single from Clint Freeman and Kronenfeld's blast to take the 4-1 lead.
The CornBelters got another run in the sixth, with James Davison, Jr. bringing home a run on a sacrifice bunt. The Rascals got an RBI single from Ransom LaLonde in the home half of the frame to make it 5-2.
After the Belters scored in the seventh on an RBI single from Justin Fletcher, with another potential run being cut down at the plate to end the inning, they had runners at second and third in the top of the ninth trailing 5-3. However, Cody Mincey ended up striking out the side and leaving the runners stranded to earn his 20th save of the season, standing alone for the Frontier League lead in the category.
Hector Hernandez (10-5) earned his league-leading 10th win, going 6 1/3 innings while allowing two runs, walking five and striking out five. Zack Kirby (3-7) took the loss, allowing four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out two.
The Rascals (43-41) look for the series sweep over the CornBelters (43-37) tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm CT. Jonny Ortiz will make the start on the mound for the Rascals.