The Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp’s winning streak came to an end Friday with a doubleheader split against the Normal CornBelters at Veterans Park in Peru.
The Shrimp won the first game 10-5 to extend their streak to six games, but lost the nightcap 6-5 when the CornBelters scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.
In the opener, Damen Castillo blasted a grand slam in the top of the first inning – his 10 homer of the season – to give the Shrimp a 4-0 lead.
Normal scored three in the bottom of the first, but Illinois Valley broke the game open with four runs in the third, highlighted by a three-run home run by Dom Souto.
The Shrimp tacked on a run in the fifth and added another in the sixth on a solo homer by Andy Nelson.
Connor Nelson earned the win as he threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
In the second game, Keshawn Ogans led off the bottom of the first with a home run, his eighth of the season. Ogans finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs.
Nelson blasted a solo homer in the third, and the Shrimp added a run in the fifth before Ogans hit a two-run single in the sixth to give Illinois Valley a 5-4 lead going to the final inning.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Ben Hopkins and Jonathan Latham in the seventh lifted the CornBelters to the win.
Mitch Benson took the loss for the Shrimp.
Hall graduate Trez Rybarczyk, the 2021 NewsTribune and Bureau County Republican Baseball Player of the Year, made his debut for the Shrimp with two innings of relief. He allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
The Pistol Shrimp (19-30) play host to the Clinton LumberKings (23-27) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for Wally the Wallaroo Night at Veterans Park.
Illinois Valley 14, Burlington 4 (8 inn.)
Ogans and Castillo both homered, with Ogans finishing 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs and Castillo driving in three runs.
The Shrimp had a hot start with three runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run double by Colton Coca and an RBI single by Nelson.
Ogans blasted a solo home run in the second inning, and Souto drove home a run in the fourth to make it a 5-1 game.
The Shrimp exploded for nine runs over the final three innings, with four in the sixth, two in the seventh and three in the eighth.
Souto delivered a two-run double in the sixth, while Tom Jurack and Nolan Clifford each hit RBI singles.
In the seventh, Ogans plated two runs with a single.
Castillo belted a three-run shot to end the game in the eighth.
Evan Clark earned the win on the mound as he surrendered four runs on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in four innings.