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NORMAL -- Normal CornBelters' third baseman Daniel Cox calls his early season struggles "part me, part baseball."

Yet the Frontier League's second-leading hitter in 2010 doesn't pretend to be enjoying his 2-for-26 (.077) start at the plate entering Saturday's game against Southern Illinois at the Corn Crib.

"It's kind of a tough stretch," said Cox, who batted .323 last season. "Some balls I've hit hard haven't fallen yet. I'm not completely on. I'm still coming around. When all is said and done, it will be there."

Cox went hitless in his first 18 at-bats before breaking through. He had a single and a sacrifice fly in Friday's loss to Southern Illinois.

"The (Florence) shortstop made at least four good plays on him in that three-game series," Normal manager Hal Lanier said. "He's not panicking and I'm not panicking. I think he's going to hit. He did last year. Some of the balls he's hitting hard will find some holes."

Cox said he has learned over his career not to obsess over slumps.

"About three years ago I would have and this thing would probably continue or get worse," he said. "You have to have a short memory. You can't over analyze. We've played this game at this level long enough that you're never that far off."

Frontier files: Eureka High School graduate Jake Eigsti is second in the Frontier League batting race at .500 in the early going. Eigsti is batting third and playing shortstop for Rockford.

Cole Miles of Florence leads the league at .515, while 2010 batting champion Zach Aakhus of Windy City is third at .478.

Southern Illinois released former Olympia High School and Heartland College infielder Michael Stalter shortly before the start of the season.

Stalter helped the Miners to a West Division title last summer.




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