Grizzlies drop another game to CornBelters

Special to the News-DemocratJuly 6, 2013 

The Gateway Grizzlies offense managed only five hits in a 6-0 loss to the Normal CornBelters on Saturday night in Normal.

Normal starting pitcher Drew Provence (3-2) fired seven scoreless innings and reliever Jacob Liedka tossed two scoreless, handing the Grizzlies their third shutout loss of the season.

None of the Grizzlies (28-14) hits were for extra bases and only one player, Vladimir Frias, had more than one hit.

Frias finished 2-for-4 to give him four hits in the weekend series.

Normal (25-19) scored three runs in the second inning off Grizzlies starting pitcher Jake Stephens (0-1), who was making his professional debut.

Mike Mobbs, Adam Derner and Keoni Manago all had RBI singles for the CornBelters in the inning.

Normal plated three again in the sixth inning, with all of the runs coming on one swing of the bat by CornBelters shortstop, Pat McKenna. McKenna hit a bases clearing double off of Grizzlies reliever Brett Higginbotham to score three runs.

All of those runs were the responsibility of Stephens, who gave up six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Higginbotham struck out five batters and allowed only one hit in his 2 2/3 relief innings.

The Grizzlies will try to avoid the series sweep Sunday night against the CornBelters. Right-hander Tim Brown (6-2) will start the 6 p.m. game for Gateway.

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