The Grizzlies lost two base runners at the plate Wednesday night as they dropped the second contest of their six-game home stand against the Normal CornBelters by a final score of 5-3.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Grizzlies had their greatest opportunity to get back into the game.
After the CornBelters walked the first two batters to open the inning, second basemen Josh Bunselmeyer singled to left to score a run. Grizzlies had a chance to score a second run on the Bunselmeyer single, but first basemen Craig Massoni was thrown out at the plate.
After advancing to second on the throw home on the previous play, Bunselmeyer was thrown out at the plate on an infield single by right fielder Ryan O’Malley.
Despite having two runners thrown out at home in the same inning, the Grizzlies still managed to score twice to cut Normal’s lead to 4-3.
The game started out with Normal finding some early offense in the first inning. Grizzlies starter Will Anderson gave up a leadoff single in the first to Yeixon Ruiz, who came around to score two batters later on a one-out single by Nolan Meadows.
The struggles for the Grizzlies continued in the second when shortstop Garrett Mattlage committed an error to lead off the inning. Anderson proceeded to walk the next two batters to load the bases with no outs.
The CornBelters scored three runs in the inning on an RBI single by Ruiz and two sacrifice flies by Meadows and Chirino.
Grizzlies reliever Tanner Cable came in with two outs in the third and pitched admirably. Cable worked four innings and gave up only one hit and no runs.
“You have a game plan of what you want to happen, and then the game of baseball will throw you a whole bunch of adversity. That’s why this is a team effort,” said Grizzlies’ skipper Phil Warren. “The bullpen picked up Will tonight, and then tomorrow our starters are going to have to pick up the bullpen.”
After the CornBelters added an insurance run in the eighth, the Grizzlies were retired in order in the ninth. FINAL: Normal 5, Grizzlies 3.
The Grizzlies look to avoid the sweep on Thursday as they wrap up their series against the CornBelters. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.