Bees Sting Hawks in Fifth for 3-1 Victory
The Burlington Bees (13-12, 51-43) plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth to break open a scoreless tie and held on to defeat the South Bend Silver Hawks (16-9, 56-38) 3-1 on Wednesday night at Four Winds Field. Hawks shortstop Andrew Velazquez extended his minor-league record on-base streak to 74 games by getting hit by a pitch in the third inning and ripping a triple to left-center in the sixth inning. Velazquez continues to chase Ted Williams for the all-time professional record of 84 games.
Sean Furney (L, 5-5) started off the game strong as he kept the Bees off the scoreboard through the first four innings. He was matched zero for zero by Bees starter Harrison Cooney (W, 8-4). Burlington, the Class-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, broke through to take the lead in the top of the fifth. Catcher Stephen McGee led off the inning with a single to right. Designated hitter Ryan Dalton followed with a single to center that put runners at first and second with no outs. Left fielder Trevor Gretzky, son of NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, dropped down a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners to second and third with one out. Right fielder Tyler Palmer hit a long drive that was caught at the base of the left field wall for the second out of the inning, but the sacrifice fly scored McGee and advanced Dalton to third. Shortstop Erick Salcedo laced a triple to right that just evaded the glove of Hawks right fielder Stryker Trahan to give the Bees a 2-0 lead. Second baseman Kody Eaves extended that lead with an RBI single that plated Salcedo and made it 3-0.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, finally scratched out a run against Cooney in the bottom of the sixth inning. Velazquez led off the inning with a triple to left center. Center fielder Chuck Taylor grounded out to second for the first out of the inning and scored Velazquez on the play to cut the lead to 3-1. That was the end of the night for Cooney who pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on four hits while striking out five Hawks. Cole Swanson came on in relief of Cooney and retired all five batters he faced to keep the lead at 3-1 through the bottom of the seventh.
Alan Busenitz (S, 12) replaced Swanson to start the bottom of the eighth inning and proceeded to close out the game for the Bees. He retired all six batters he faced to earn the save as the Bees won 3-1. It was another strong performance by the Hawks bullpen as Bud Jeter and Jose Jose combined to throw 3 scoreless innings in relief of Furney.
The Hawks and Bees continue their series on Thursday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Righty Yency Almonte (2-0, 1.50 ERA) gets the start for Burlington while right John Omahen (4-3, 3.06 ERA) takes the ball for South Bend. It is Thirsty Thursday at Four Winds Field where there will be $2 22oz sodas and 16 oz beers all night long. It is also Irish Night at Four Winds Field so come green out the stadium. There will be free face painting from 6-9pm and everyone will have a chance to bid on special Irish themed jerseys worn by the Silver Hawks.