Bees Abuzz After 4-3 Win to Take Series
The Burlington Bees (14-13, 52-44) took advantage of some sloppy defense by the South Bend Silver Hawks (17-10, 57-39) as four errors led to three unearned Burlington runs in a 4-3 Bees win on Friday night at Four Winds Field. Clint Sharp (W, 6-5) pitched a strong six innings, allowing just two runs on three hits for the Bees and the Burlington bullpen allowed just one unearned run on two hits over the last three innings in a dominating performance.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, took an early lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, left fielder Chuck Taylor singled to shallow right-center. During third baseman Joe Munoz's at-bat, Taylor took off for second. The hit and run proved to be bountiful as Munoz laced a double to the left field corner and Taylor kept on circling the bases to score the first run of the game.
Burlington, the Class-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, took advantage of a Hawks error to plate two runs in the top of the fourth. Second baseman Kody Eaves led off the frame with a single to left. Third baseman Angel Rosa followed with a line drive single back up the middle into center. Eaves advanced safely to third as center fielder Daniel Bowman's throw was tardy. The throw to third allowed Rosa to move up to second. A slow roller down the third base line by center fielder Mike Fish was gloved by Hawks third baseman Joe Munoz. After looking Eaves back to third, Munoz fired across the diamond. Munoz's throw sailed wide of first and into the bullpen allowing Eaves and Rosa to score on E-5 throwing giving Burlington a 2-1 lead.
The Bees tacked on another two runs in the top of the sixth. Eaves reached safely with a leadoff single to right. South Bend starter, John Omahen (L, 4-4) struck out Rosa, but Eaves was on the move and swiped second on the play. A single to shallow right-center by Fish was enough to score Eaves from second. Designated hitter Eric Aguilera dropped a single into right to put runners on the corners as Fish scampered to third. Then during first baseman Ryan Dalton's at-bat, Omahen attempted to pick Aguilera off at first. Omahen's throw was in the dirt. While Daniel Palka was able to corral the ball at first, it was enough to allow Fish to score from third on the E-1 throwing. The fourth Hawks error on the night put the Bees in front 4-1.
South Bend clawed a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Taylor led off by perfectly placing the ball over Rosa's head at third and into left field for a double. A ground out to first by Palka advanced Taylor to third and a 6-3 ground out by Munoz brought Taylor home to cut the lead to 4-2.
Burlington reliever Brian Loconsole held off the Hawks in the seventh and eighth before South Bend made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth against Alan Busenitz (S, 13). Busenitz quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning, but then the fielding lapses hit the Bees. Designated hitter Jamie Westbrook hit a chopper towards second. Eaves charged the ball only to have it roll up his arm, allowing Westbrook to reach first on the E-4 fielding. Westbrook was then given a free pass to second on defensive indifference. Second baseman Fidel Pena continued his hot hitting with a single to center and Westbrook crossed the plate to make it a one run ballgame. However, the rally was short lived as Busenitz was able to get right fielder Zach Esquerra to hit a grounder to shortstop for a fielder's choice to end the game and give the Bees the 4-3 victory.
The Hawks welcome in the Peoria Chiefs, the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, for a three-game series beginning on Saturday night at 7:05pm. Luis Perdomo (1-1, 6.48 ERA) takes the hill for the Chiefs while Blake Perry (5-2, 4.08 ERA) gets the ball for the Hawks. It is Star Wars Night at Four Winds Field on Saturday night with the Hawks wearing special jerseys. Stick around after the game for a special showing of The Empire Strikes Back on the video board. It is also Flat Screen Saturday and the Hawks will be giving away a 39" flat screen television every inning. The giveaways keep on coming as the first 750 fans through the gates will also receive a cooler bag. Come on out to the ballpark and cheer on your Hawks as they take on the Chiefs and remember…May the Force Be with You.