The River City Rascals (47-43) were shutout for the fourth time this season, 2-0, in game two of
the three game series against the Normal CornBelters (45-44) Saturday night at the Corn Crib.
Despite the loss, the Rascals recorded double digit hits for the fourth night in a row and
recorded two of their final hits in the top of the ninth inning to put the potential go-ahead run at
Josh Silver was one of those two baserunners and he reached with a leadoff single into left
field. Three batters later and with two outs, Clint Freeman bounced a ball passed the first
baseman but CornBelters closer, Chad Gendron, secured the victory with a strikeout.
Silver finished the night with two hits overall and improved his average to a .292, good for
second on the team.
Josh Ludy and Jason Merjano were also solid offensively and each recorded a trio of hits,
including a double from Merjano to lead off the second inning.
The second inning was the Rascals best opportunity to score all night as after the double, Silver
reached on a single to put runners at the corners with no outs.
However, a pop out in shallow left followed by a solid defensive play by the Belters second
baseman Justin Fletcher to throw Merjano out at home gave the Belters an opportunity to get
out of the threat.
Starter Scott Sebald did just that by inducing a groundout right back to him to end the frame.
Sebald would go on to battle with Rascals starter, Hector Hernandez, the entire night and
finished with his team leading ninth win of the year.
The southpaw tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, two walks and struck out
Hernandez was on the losing side of the pitchers duel and was tagged with loss number eight.
Similar to Sebald, Hernandez lasted seven innings but gave up two runs, earned, on nine hits
and struck out eight.
The eight strikeout performance marked the fourth time in his last five starts with at least eight
Both of the runs that Hernandez allowed came from the top of the Belters order, including a RBI
double from third place hitter Justin Fletcher in the bottom of the first after a controversial call on
what was at first ruled a caught stealing.
The second run for the Belters came via a RBI single from shortstop Santiago Chirino after the
seventh inning stretch.
Matt Chavarria finished off the night for the Rascals pitching staff and tossed a scoreless eighth
The defeat gives the Rascals a 2-6 record on the season long nine game road trip and puts
them 1.5 games back from the final wild card spot with six games to go.
The Rascals look to cut into the deficit and avoid a series sweep Sunday night with righty Zeb
Sneed on the mound.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.