NORMAL, IL–Despite a lopsided outcome, fans at the Corn Crib were treated to some excitement in the late innings in Game 2 between the River City Rascals and Normal CornBelters on Wednesday night. The Belters won the game 12-3, behind a nine-run first inning, but the real action came in the bottom of the seventh. Rascals reliever Cody Mincey threw a pitch behind Normal’s Andrew Godbold, and was immediately ejected from the game, sparking a benches-clearing scuffle down the first base line between the two teams. Order was soon restored, and the CornBelters finished off the Rascals to take a 2-0 lead in the series. No other players were ejected from the game.
Interestingly enough, Godbold was involved in a bit of a controversy in Game 1, as his takeout slide at second to break up a double play ball earned Rascals Manager Steve Brook an ejection for arguing the non-call.
The CornBelters sent 12 men to the plate and scored nine first inning runs, highlighted by a three-run homer from Santiago Chirino, his first of the season. Rascals starter Mark Reyes (0-1) settled down after that, and ended up lasting five innings, but the Rascals were never able to get back in the game.
Tony Holton hit his first career homer in the seventh, a two-run shot to put the Belters up 11-0. However, the Rascals were able to get on the board themselves with a three-run eighth. After a Mike Jurgella double, Trevor Achenbach singled him home and then Ross Haffey hit a two-run blast to right for his first professional home run as well.
CornBelters starter Jack Landwehr (1-2) earned his first professional win, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He finished the game going seven innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and striking out 12.
The Rascals (21-20) look to avoid their second sweep to the CornBelters (18-20) this season, in tomorrow night’s finale. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT, and Hector Hernandez is expected to start for the Rascals.