Relay For LifeNORMAL – The name of the 15-person team Heather Brown, Normal, belonged to that participated in the 21st Annual Relay For Life of McLean County said it all. Her team, which included cousins, kids, and friends is called “Walk To Remember.”

This year’s event raised a total of $270,000 with a total of 1,000 participants on teams of between 12 to 15 people each circling Normal Community High School’s large gym for a full 18-hours, and enjoying numerous activities. For the first time in its history, this year, Relay For Life of McLean County incorporated a 5K Run, which was held Saturday morning. A total of 111 people either pre-registered for the 5K event or registered just prior to it beginning. Event organizers also opted to shorten the overall event from 24 hours as it had been since it began to 18 hours.

Because of heavy rains the morning of Friday, June 26, the event usually held on a track at a local high school, was moved to the school’s large gym.

Members of “Walk To Remember,” ranging in age from 2 to in their 60s, were doing just that: Remembering loved ones and friends who had either survived or lost their battles with cancer. The group has been around for the last few years and seen even the youngest members take part in one of the event’s specific events, a “Youth Lap.”

Brown, a former Oncology nurse having worked at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center for 16 years, said she learned about the Relay through that employment. “By then, over the years, taking care of many cancer patients and seeing all the good things the American Cancer Society does provide for the patients was something that made me want to do more and be involved,” she explained.

Brown added her family also wanted to be involved with event “because we’ve been touched by cancer because we’ve had many people in our family who were diagnosed with it. My family and friends were all compelled to become part of Relay because we’ve all been caregivers for cancer patients in some way,” Brown said.

“Walk To Remember” team members participated in fundraisers practically year-round to raise around $2,000 of the grand total announced at the end of the event on Saturday morning, Brown said.

“I think it’s really exciting to see everybody really excited to come together and celebrate the survivors, raise money, and make people more aware of what the American Cancer Society does as far as education to patients, providing support, and doing programs to help patients,” Brown added.

“It’s just great to know McLean County has one of the biggest Relays and that we have such a great group of people in our community that comes together. It’s so heart-warming.”

Brown’s sister, Melinda Malone, and their cousin, Karen Durham of Normal, were also part of “Walk To Remember,” as well. Malone, Downs, said she was on board with the team without much convincing by her sister. “I saw Heather’s passion for this and wanted to get involved right away,” Malone explained. “We’ve always been a close knit family, cousins and all. So this was just one more thing we could do as a family.”

Friday Morning Rain Forces Event Inside NCHS:
For the first time in its history, the event was held at Normal Community High School, where organizers were making final preparations in the morning Friday when heavy rains made the grounds near the track where participants would pitch tents and enjoy each other’s company too damp. Standing water was visible. Relay organizers opted to move the event into NCHS’ large gym just hours before the scheduled 4p.m. start.

Many participants noted how much closer people seemed during the event as a result of moving inside.

The Relay’s primary events – a Youth Lap, Survivor Walk, and Luminaria Ceremony remembering loved ones who either survived or passed from cancer – were said to have special meaning this year because of having been moved indoors.

“It’s amazing that they were able to move the Relay inside, and have it be just as powerful inside as it would have been outside, ” Karen Durham commented.

Event Debuts 5K Run; Overall Event Length Shortened: Relay organizers made a few changes to the event this year. In addition to changing the location of the event, they shortened its length. In its previous two decades, Relay For Life of McLean County had been a 24-hour event. Beginning with this year, it was shortened to an 18-hour event.

Organizers also added a 5K run that began outside of Ironmen Field, wound its way up Raab Rd. and around Eastview Christian Church, and then back to the school, ending at the stadium’s track finish line. There were 111 runners who joined the inaugural event. One of them was Bob Dennis.

Dennis said he’d trained for this event having been away from running regularly for three years. “I’d never been to a Relay For Life event and wanted to see what it was like,” Dennis said. “I wanted to see what it was like, and like everyone else, I’ve had close family affected by cancer.”

Dennis said his wife, Barbi, has participated in Relay For Life, walking with co-workers in previous years. Dennis’ sons, Patrick and Sean, both members of NCHS’ Marching Band, were present for this year’s event when the band took part in the Survivor Walk, helping lead survivors into the large gym.

Kimberly Wright, a Community Manager for American Cancer Society’s Peoria Office, was present to oversee the event, and said ACS “is ecstatic about what we’ve raised this year. We still have two more months to reach our annual goal of $400,000. We’re so close, so it’s really exciting.” ACS’ fiscal year for Relay For Life ends on Aug. 31. All monies donated after the event but turned in by Aug. 31 will be credited toward this year’s money raised, she added. Team members with money to bank will receive an opportunity to do so on July 7.

The feeling all of this year’s participants had from being part of the event was best summed up by Brown as she explained, “the rains may have dampened the grounds, but not our spirits.”

The Talberts Got Local Event Started: When Bill & Freida Talbert put the very first Relay For Life event together in McLean County in 1995, they raised $63,894.45 thanks to 22 teams of 12-14 people, and were able to honor 26 survivors. This year’s event honored nearly 400 survivors with a dinner and during a moving “Survivor Walk” around the track surrounding Wildcat Field.

With the total announced at the end of this year’s event, Relay For Life of McLean County has raised $7,883,633 since the first Relay event was held here in 1995This year’s Relay For Life of McLean County event had four co-chairs at its helm, guiding an organizing committee of roughly 30-35 people putting the event together. The co-chairs for this year’s event were Christopher Lay, Alexis Anderson, Mary Keener, and Sandi McBurney.

BaseballLike CornBelters center fielder Mark Micowski who I introduced you to a couple weeks ago, his normal teeammate, left fielder Cameron Monger, also can claim to have spent time as a member of the Frontier League’s full-time road team, the Frontier Greys.

“I knew Normal’s manager, Brooks Carey, from having played his teams the last couple of years while with the Greys, and knew coming here was going to be a good fit for me personally,” Monger explained.

Monger was a 27th round draft choice by the San Diego Padres in 2009 out of the University of New Mexico. He played that year, his rookie league season with the Arizona Padres of the Arizona League before moving on to Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League in 2010. In 2011, he played for Brockton and Worcester of the CanAm League, and Fort Worth of the American Association. In 2012, he returned to Worcester for a short stint of five games. During that period, he held a batting average of .294 and on-base percentage of .351.

He spent 2013 and 2014 with the Greys before signing with Normal. This season, he finds himself the third leading home run hitter on the team with five, behind league leader Pat McKenna’s 11, and third baseman Richard Lucas’ 8.

Monger said, as part of the Greys, those players couldn’t really concern themselves during the season with small comforts the players competing on home teams had. “During the season, obviously, we just wanted to focus on our individual performances, the team’s performance, and playing ball games,” Monger explained of his time with the Greys. “I found out those things during the season. Once the season was over, I kind of reevaluated my career and talked to some people and decided to come to Normal.”

Knowing Carey was a help, Monger said, adding that although he had been contacted by other clubs, “Coming to Normal was more about making sure we could make things work out here first before I considered talking in depth with anyone else.”

Getting to Normal was a topic of discussion for Monger as far back as 2013 during trade talks between the CornBelters and the team Monger was with at the time, the Fort Worth Cats of the United League, an independent league similar to the Frontier League.

CornbeltersConcerning life as a member of an ever-traveling team, one needs to discuss the subject by comparing it to being on a team with a home base. That’s because being on a home team has helped Monger, who turns 27 in August, develop a routine. “You’re able to a favorite spot for coffee, and make sure you’re at the ballpark on time for practice,” Monger said of the little things he appreciates about playing for a city with a team. “Being on the traveling team means you’re on the team bus after every single game and constrained.”

And as one might imagine, that kind of constant travel means it has to be financially costly, too. Steve Tahsler, deputy commissioner of the Frontier League, explained to me in an email the Greys are operated “as a separate corporation from the league.” Tahsler serves as the traveling club’s president, while Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee acts as the team secretary. Tahsler estimates it will take roughly $350,000 to operate the team this season. Their current manager is former CornBelters hitting coach Vinny Ganz.

“Not being on a traveling team means you’re free to spread your wings a little bit more,” Monger said. Understandably, and perhaps a little more than most, Monger said he appreciates the “energy and excitement coming out of the stands” at not just at The Corn Crib, but at any of the towns that have home teams in the league.

Monger has had energy for the game of baseball since he was a third grader. Each of his coaches along the way helped him advance, he explained. “It may be a business now, but when kids are getting started in the game, Monger explained, “The biggest thing is for them to have fun.

He adds: “These days, there’s a lot of emphasis on spending a lot of hours working on your craft. Sometimes, the fun gets lost in the translation. But also, being a student of the game is the next most important thing.”

Monger said he believes young players should become students of the game and should ask coaches for tips on how to succeed in the game.

Frontier LeagueYou get the sense that Monger is and continues to be a student of the game, and perhaps someday, when his playing days end, he will be able to use his experiences to mentor upcoming players.

River City, Greys & Pete Rose Coming To The Corn Crib: The ‘Belters will have ended June at home against River City but will be spending the 4th of July weekend playing a three-game series at Southern Illinois. Following a day off on Monday, July 6, they will return for a six-day, six-game homestand at The Corn Crib facing Schaumburg for three games Tuesday through Thursday, July 7-9, with all games beginning at 6:30p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 10-12, Ganz’s Frontier Greys will be in town for three games. On July 10, former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose will be at the game, coaching third base. Considering Rose’s desire and making a formal request to get back into baseball, I wonder what kind of interest will be seen from media outside the local market. I get the sense the CornBelters are preparing for an above average media contingent to come to that game.

McKenna Still Leading League: McKenna is still the man to beat in two Frontier League categories, with 11 home runs and 36 Runs Batted In. Lucas is third in RBIs league-wide with 32, just three short of second place holder Niko Vasquez of the Southern Illinois Miners. On the mound, CornBelters Pitcher Kevin Brahney continues to be among 14 pitchers in the league tied for third in wins with 4. Fellow pitcher Michael Schweiss is holding on to second place in strikeouts in the league with 55, but it’s a distant second behind the League leader, Matt Bywater of the Southern Illinois Miners, who has 67.

By Steve Robinson | June 20, 2015 - 10:15 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Cornbelters, The Normalite

BaseballFor Normal CornBelters first baseman Aaron Dudley, sticking to one’s way of approaching the game of baseball is what’s working for him. And to his way of thinking, “Sticking with your approach will allow results to happen.”

And when a player presents results in front of baseball scouts, Dudley said, a player’s name get passed from the scout to the player’s manager, looking to sign the player into the minors.

In 122 games with the CornBelters since coming here last year, Dudley has had 443 at-bats during 122 games, during which he has produced 84 runs, 141 hits including 14 home runs, 37 doubles and one triple. In the two years he has been with Normal, he has a .415 on base percentage. Defensively, he has helped turn 89 double plays, lent 17 assists, and committed just four errors.

Dudley is putting up such numbers here while waiting to get back to the minors, and helping the CornBelters fight to get into the Frontier League playoffs while doing so. As a CornBelter, Dudley explained, “I focus on each pitch, each at-bat, each defensive play,” he explained. As of my conversation with Dudley on June 19, the Toledo, Ohio native had not hit a home run yet this season. Yet, regarding that stat, he appeared philosophical.

“Having not had a home run yet this season kind of gets to me, but if I stick to my approach, the results will come,” the 6 foot-3, 195 pounder explained. A non-drafted free agent in 2010, Dudley signed with the then-Florida Marlins and was assigned to their Class A team in Jamestown, N.Y. He then moved to Class A teams in the Marlins system in Greensboro, N. C. and Jupiter, Fla., playing in just a handful of games at each stop before being advanced to their Class AA team, the Jacksonville Suns.

Jacksonville turned out to be Dudley’s last stop before being released by the Marlins in 2013. At the time of his release, he had played in just 94 games over four years.

By coming to Normal, Dudley felt he’d have a chance to contribute regularly – something that didn’t turn out to be the case with the Marlins organization.

Cornbelters“With the Marlins, I didn’t really get that many opportunities to show what I could do, and that’s something that makes you unsure of yourself,” Dudley admitted. “But being able to play every day here, and with the results I put forth thus far have shown me the only person who can beat me is myself.” Since arriving in Normal in 2014, Dudley said, his confidence has received a boost, helping him to contribute to Normal’s success.

While being with the CornBelters, Dudley said his mechanics at the plate have improved, including keeping his head from moving very much. He said he believes he has more consistent swing than he did when he first arrived last year.

Dudley’s life experiences in baseball transformed him, to some degree, into feeling a little like a veteran player. “I like that feeling because I am able to share my past experiences with some of the new guys,” he explained. “That allows me to give them my input.” After his playing days are over, Dudley said he would like to move into coaching.

For now though, Dudley waits for the next call up to the Minors. “I’m not discouraged,” he said. “Whatever happens, I’m just going to keep on playing my game.”

A Need To Lead: Prior to last Sunday’s game against Lake Erie, the ‘Belters had gone 3-7 in their last 10 games. For the last couple of weeks before that, starting with road games at Evansville, CornBelters Manager Brooks Carey said, the team had been “playing from behind.” He added, “Our players have to get better, which I know they can.”

The ‘Belters will have Monday off and be on the road this coming week playing Tuesday through Thursday, June 23-25 at Windy City, moving to Joliet for a weekend series Friday through Saturday, June 26-28. After taking Monday, June 29 off, the team returns to The Corn Crib for a four game series with River City, beginning with a doubleheader Tuesday, June 30, starting with game one’s first pitch at 4:30p.m. That first game is a make-up game due to bad weather earlier in the season. The two teams will meet for single games Wednesday and Thursday, July 1 and 2, beginning with first pitches at 6:35p.m. each night.

Frontier LeagueMcKenna Continues Leading League’s Hit Parade: Infielder Pat McKenna continues leading the Frontier League in stats offensively, with 11 home runs and 32 Runs Batted In. Teammate Richard Lucas is second in homers hitting eight out of the park. That stat puts Lucas in a three-way tie with Washington’s David Popkins and Gateway’s Blake Brown. McKenna’s 32 RBIs leads the league and Lucas is locked in a three-way tie for fourth in the league in that statistic bringing in 27. Lucas is squarely between Frontier Grey Scott Carcaise and River City’s Danny Canela and looking to break away.

As of Monday, left hander Kevin Brahney continued chasing the league leader in wins, Scott Bywater of the Southern Illinois Miners. Bywater has 6 victories, followed by 5 wins each produced by Rockford’s Kyle Hassna and Schaumburg’s Eddie Cody, and then 12 players, including Brahney, find themselves in a logjam with four wins. CornBelters pitcher Michael Schweiss is second to Bywater in strikeouts, trailing him 60 to 52.

Christmas Coming Early – On July 10: Christmas will come early this year – at least at The Corn Crib, as the team will have a “Christmas In July” promotion on Friday, July 10, when the ‘Belters host the Frontier Greys. The evening will have all the feel of the season five months early as the team will also be collecting gifts to donate to the WJBC Brotherhood Tree.

BaseballConsider the life of an Independent league baseball player. In the Frontier League, players live with host families for home games and travel by bus to road games. Usually, when a team is on the road and has completed their third of a three-game series in this league, players and coaches do not go back to a hotel and travel the next day. Instead, as soon as the game is over, it’s off to the bus right away to the next town, the next three-game series. That means, sometimes, the players get into the next town in the wee hours of the following morning. And, of course, when your team is home, players have a home with host families in town.

That is the norm if you are playing in Normal, Joliet, Washington, or any of the 13 Frontier League cities. But there is one league team without a host city, or steady fans, or a home ballpark. They are the Frontier Greys, the league’s traveling team. A traveling team in the Frontier League became necessary midway through the 2012 season after an expansion team in London, Ontario, Canada – the London Rippers – folded. They were replaced by the Frontier Road Warriors. When the 2013 season opened, the team had a new name, the Frontier Greys, and they had an outfielder named Mark Micowski, fresh out of playing college ball at Georgia State University.

Micowski began his playing career with the Sonoma (Calif.) Grapes of the North American League in 2012 and moved on to play for the Greys in 2013 before signing with Normal in 2014.

As for his experience with the travel team, being part of the Greys for two seasons was something Micowski said he enjoyed. “It was definitely tiring at times and I learned a lot about myself. I felt like, especially after that first season with them, I could do anything in baseball.”

Micowski said the hardest thing he had to adjust to while with the Greys “was that you’re on the bus all the time because you go from one town to the next.” On off days, the Greys stayed in a hotel in Avon, Ohio, home of the Lake Erie Crushers. They practiced at the ballparks they were scheduled to play in.

“The whole year playing for the Greys just took getting used to,” Micowski explained. “When you never the home team, you’re at such a disadvantage. We lost a lot of one-run games. You were just tired all the time.”

He reported to The Corn Crib May 1 of last year, but his tenure was cut short by a left hand injury he suffered having been hit by a pitch in an away game against Washington on June 22.

CornbeltersDoctors anticipated his recovery would take four weeks, but it took eight. He even saw a specialist during the offseason and contemplated whether to come back to the CornBelters for this season. “I wondered if I was going to end my career right there because of injuries,” Micowski said, explaining he had injured both a hand and a toe on two separate occasions, once playing college ball and the other while suiting up for the Greys.

“But really, what this last injury did was build a fire for me to keep going and finish my career on my own terms,” Micowski, 26, explained. “I wasn’t going to let an injury dictate when I would end my career.” It was that decision that prompted him to re-up with the CornBelters for this season. At the plate in 140 games with Normal, center fielder Micowski has scored 42 runs, had 60 hits including eight doubles, four triples and two home runs. He has had 18 Runs Batted In and been walked 17 times. He has struck out 27 times. He is currently batting .277 at the plate.

As for becoming a CornBelter, Micowski said he remembered playing here when the Greys came to town. “I loved playing here,” Micowski said of the visits the traveling team made to Normal. “It seemed like they had good crowds all the time, and it just seemed like a no-brainer to sign with Normal.”

“I think the fans, where we play, and the group of guys we have” are high on Micowski’s list of reasons why he enjoys finally having a Frontier League home in Normal.

Young “Duck Dynasty” Stars To Highlight Saturday Promotions: Having had this past Monday off, Carey’s crew will be in the middle of a six-game home stand this weekend, having started it with three games Tuesday through Thursday hosting Traverse City, followed by a three-game series hosting the Lake Erie Crushers. Friday and Saturday games will begin at 6:35p.m., and Sunday’s contest begins with a 3p.m. first pitch. Two of the stars of the hit A&E Cable Network series “Duck Dynasty”, brother and sister John-Luke and Sadie Robertson, will be returning to The Corn Crib Saturday to meet fans and be part of the pregame activities as the CornBelters take on the Crushers. This game will be the second time the Robertson kids have visited The Corn Crib. Their last visit was in August 2013. At that time, fans were lined up for 100 yards to get an autorgraph. Saturday’s game will also be “Girl Scout Night.”

Following another Monday off, the CornBelters hit the road for a six-game road trip to Joliet Tuesday-Thursday, June 23-25, followed by three games at Windy City in Crestwood, Ill. Friday through Sunday, June 26-29.

After taking Monday, June 29 off, the ‘Belters host River City at The Corn Crib in a brief three-game series Tuesday through Thursday, June 30 and July 1 and 2. They will spend the 4th of July weekend at Southern Illinois.

Frontier LeaguePitching Staffers Showing League The Way: As last season ended and when this season began, CornBelters Manager Brooks Carey said pitching – from both his veterans and any newcomers he signed – would be key to keeping Normal in on the chase to get to the playoffs. In the Frontier League, the top two teams in each division make the playoffs.

The staff Normal has sent on the mound so far has proved Carey’s point and left hander Kevin Brahney is proof of Carey’s thinking. Brahney, 26, is in a 7-way tie for second in the league for wins with 4, as of the off-day Monday. Southern Illinois Miners Pitcher Matt Bywater is leading the category with five victories.

Offensively, Infielder Pat McKenna is leading the league in home runs with 9, Runs Batted In with 28, and fourth in the league in average by batting .351. His teammate, Aaron Dudley, is fifth in the league in average batting .347.

Miracle League Field Dedication June 27: On a baseball-related note, the Twin Cities has been part of the Miracle League for five years now. The Miracle League, according to its website, “provides physically and mentally challenged children a safe and spirited program in which they can play on a baseball field just like other kids. Every player has the opportunity to run the bases, score and win at every Miracle League game inning.” Players who need help with hitting, catching and throwing the ball are paired with a “buddy” who helps out.

Miracle League of Central Illinois is getting its own field to play on after spending the last few years playing Sundays at the PONY League Complex in Bloomington. The new complex is located just north of The Corn Crib in Normal’s north end. Miracle League of Central Illinois has been raising funds and received donations to make this possible, explained Mike Holley, the group’s president. Those donations have included the land the new field sits on, courtesy of the CornBelters and Heartland Community College, as well as a corporate donation of $350,000 from State Farm Insurance.

The first games to be played on the new field will be on Saturday, June 27, beginning with a dedication ceremony at 12:30p.m.

BaseballWith seven years of minor league experience, primarily through the New York Mets organization, Normal CornBelters third baseman Richard Lucas is one player who knows the ins and outs of how to advance within that system while waiting for that all-important call-up to the Majors.

Lucas, 26, came to Normal at the start of the 2014 season after having spent seven years combing his way through the Mets farm system after having been drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 Amateur Draft. During seven seasons of Rookie, Class A and AA ball in the Mets system, he played in 671 games throughout those years. Lucas scored 291 runs, tallied 480 hits including 42 homers. Defensively at that time, Lucas participated in 162 double plays.

When his contract with the Mets ended in 2013, Lucas made his way to Normal at the start of the 2014 season after friends pointed him in the direction of CornBelters Manager Brooks Carey. Lucas signed with Normal’s Frontier League team “just a couple days after talking to Brooks,” Lucas recalled.

Lucas’ experience allows him to guide younger players concerning life in the Minors, while at the same time making them feel a part of the ‘Belters unit – on the field and off. “I’ve told new guys that we like to have a lot of fun as a team but one thing we don’t do is go out on the field and provide a half-effort,” he explained. “We go out there every night and give it the best we can.”

CornbeltersLucas did just that in the rain-shortened game against Southern Illinois on June 7, with one out, launching a grand slam homer in the bottom of the first inning sending the ball high onto the left field berm. The ‘Belters kept the Miners at bay with a 7-6 win. Off the field, giving his best includes getting gym work in and any extra batting practice in order to maintain a competitive edge.

As a kid in his native Jacksonville, Fla., Lucas recalled, he told all his teachers growing up he wanted to be a professional ball player. “Now when I go home and see people around, everybody asks how baseball is going and tell me how proud they are of me.”

When he is home, Lucas added, he takes time to work with youngsters at a number of different baseball camps, helping them to work on their skills. “I always make sure whenever I get back home to work with little kids at camps because I can tell them to keep playing and not to worry if they aren’t fast enough or strong enough right now because with some work, they will get there.”

From looking at his stats, Lucas would seem to know what he’s talking about. In 123 games over the last two seasons, Lucas has, in 426 at-bats hit 18 home runs, had 120 hits including 22 doubles and scored 69 runs. Defensively for Normal, Lucas has contributed to 198 assists, and had a hand on 12 double plays. He has only committed 20 errors.

Lucas has managed to make the top of league stats after this past week’s games ending Sunday. He is second in Runs Batted In, with 20. Teammates Patrick McKenna is the league leader in that category, with 24.

In fact, going into Tuesday’s action, McKenna lead the league in homers with 8. Pitcher Michael Schweiss is the league’s second-leading strikeout man, putting away 33 batters. But Schweiss still needs a few more to catch the league leader, Matt Bywater from the Southern Illinois Miners.

Frontier LeaguePitcher Anderson Done For Season; Catcher Tyler Shover Traded: Manager Brooks Carey reports the team has lost the services of rookie pitcher Eric Anderson for the season due to an injury to his right throwing shoulder. Carey said the team is working on filling Anderson’s slot. In 7 games at the plate, Anderson scored one run, had two hits, two RBIs, and walked twice while carrying a .167 average. On the mound, Anderson allowed 29 hits and 14 runs during 34 innings of work in 23 games.

To make room for Pitcher Leondy Perez on the roster, Normal traded catcher Tyler Shover to the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association for a player to be named later. Shover had been with Normal since 2013, playing in 142 games. He had 157 hits, amassed 3 home runs and 58 RBIs, and had an on-base percentage of .350. He scored 55 runs as a CornBelter.

On The Road This Weekend: After having Monday and Tuesday off, Carey’s troops began a 5-day 6-game road trip beginning with a doubleheader Wednesday in Evansville to face the Eastern Division leading Otters. That doubleheader was followed by a single game Thursday before the team traveled on to River City for three games this weekend. After taking Monday off, the CornBelters will return to The Corn Crib Tuesday for a three-game series against Traverse City June 16-18. All of those games start at 6:35p.m. Those games will be followed by a three-game weekend series with the visiting Lake Erie Crushers Friday through Sunday, June 19-21. Friday and Saturday games start at 6:35p.m. and Sunday’s first pitch will be at 3:05p.m..