It was quite a night Thursday for Pekin's Justin Fletcher and the Normal CornBelters baseball team.
Fletcher drove in four runs to lead the CornBelters to a 10-2 win over the Florence Freedom in a Frontier League game played in front of 1,653 at the Corn Crib in Normal.
The victory snapped the CornBelters' five-game losing streak.
Fletcher drove in a run in four straight plate appearances, knocking home three runs with singles and another with a sacrifice fly. He finished a perfect 4-for-4.
"The ball is looking pretty big for (Justin) at the plate," CornBelters manager Brooks Carey told the Bloomington Pantagraph. "He's hot and hopefully he stays hot. He's going to be in the lineup, that's for sure. He's earned it."
Fletcher was a standout on the diamond at Northern Illinois University after a staller prep career at Pekin.
Chiefs sting Bees
The Peoria Chiefs scored seven runs in the top of the first inning Thursday night and cruised to an 11-2 win over Burlington Bees to open the second half of the Midwest League season.
The Chiefs hit four home runs in winning their third straight game and improving their overall record to 31-39.
Shane Billings got Peoria going when he hit his first professional homer on the game's fourth pitch. The round-tripper came in Billings' 375th career at-bat as a pro and extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Chiefs starter Austin Sexton (3-1) earned the win. He allowed one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Peoria's three-game winning streak tied a season-best. The Chiefs also won three straight April 11-13 and May 30-June 1.
The Chiefs' series at Burlington continued Friday night. The game was completed after deadline.
They have heart
Five players from Deer Creek-Mackinaw and Tremont were named to the All-Heart of Illinois Conference baseball team selected by conference coaches.
Dee-Mack senior catcher Alex Kerner, senior infielder Jacob Majernick and senior outfielder Derrick Baker made the honor squad. Tremont is represented by senior catcher Tucker Runyon and sophomore outfielder Silas Israel.
HEADLINE: Trivia answer
Sports Notebook trivia question answer: there are no players from Illinois on the Peoria Chiefs roster.
Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.