O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals earned a three-game sweep over the Normal CornBelters with a 6-2 win in the series finale on Sunday night at CarShield Field. The win moved the Rascals within a game of the Belters for first place in the Frontier League's West Division, and into a tie with the Southern Illinois Miners for the second wild card spot. Paul Kronenfeld had four hits for the Rascals on the night, including a home run and a double, and Braxton Martinez had three hits, including a three-run homer.
The Rascals brought in the game's first run on an RBI single from Zach Lavy in the second inning, their third consecutive hit of the frame. Kronenfeld's solo shot in the fourth made it 2-0 Rascals, and they made it 5-0 after Martinez's three-run blast to left in the sixth. The CornBelters got RBI singles from Michael Baca and Derrick Loveless in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, and the Rascals got an RBI single from Clint Freeman in the bottom of the seventh.
Jonny Ortiz (6-2) was excellent for the Rascals, allowing just four hits and one run in seven innings in a winning effort, walking three and striking out five. Connor Root (4-2) took the loss for the Belters, allowing two runs in five innings, walking none and striking out two.
The Rascals (44-41) are off Monday and Tuesday, and take on the Gateway Grizzlies for a brief two-game series starting Wednesday night at CarShield Field, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm CT. Justin Garcia is expected to start for the Rascals on the mound.