06/12/2012 9:43 PM
1B Nick Schwaner (pictured) hit his fourth home run of the season in the win.
--- Evansville staged a late ninth inning rally but the Normal CornBelters held on for the 5-3 victory on Tuesday night.
The Otters leapt ahead 1-0 on a Nick Schwaner home run in the second inning. It was the fourth home run for the first baseman, leading all Evansville Otters in that statistic.
Down 1-0, Normal then stormed back against Evansville left-handed starter Garrett Bullock. The CornBelters were able to work a bases loaded walk to tie the game and outfielder Alvaro Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run single for a 3-1 edge.
The score would stay that way in to the seventh inning after both pitchers effectively dueled against each other. Bullock tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts and CornBelters starter Daniel Brett also kept the Otters from adding any more runs.
Normal would score again on a wild pitch in the seventh and a solo home run in the 8th to hold a 5-1 advantage.
Evansville outfielder Deangelo Mack helped the Otters claw back in the 9th with a two run single, but Normal's closer Marshall Schuler was able to maintain the lead for the 5-3 win.
The CornBelters have now won back to back games for the first time this season, going to 7-14 in the standings. The Otters fall to 8-15 with the loss.
Brett (2-2) earns the win for Normal, throwing six innings and just allowing one run. The loss goes to Bullock (0-3) despite going 6 1/3 innings and fanning 10 batters.
Nick Schwaner had three hits including the home run in the loss. Deangelo Mack also finished with two runs batted in.
The Otters will look to avoid a sweep in the series finale tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT at the Corn Crib. Tyler Lavigne (1-1, 3.57 Earned Run Average) will start for the CornBelters as he will be opposed by fellow right-hander Bryce Morrow (2-2, 6.05 ERA).
Evansville will return home next Thursday when they open a three game series with the London Rippers. Bosse Field will again host Thirsty Thursday, with $1 draft beer. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (812) 435-8686.
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