Photo: Bees pitcher Clayton Chatham tags out Lake County’s Connor Smith at the plate in the first inning. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)
By John Bohnenkamp
The perfect hitter was at the plate to start the 10th inning for the Burlington Bees.
Jordyn Adams has been a right-guy-in-the-right spot for the Bees all season. So when he got all barrel on a pitch from Lake County Captains pitcher Kyle Marman, it was exactly what manager Jack Howell wanted.
“He hit it hard, just like he always does,” Howell said.
Adams hit a hard grounder that looked like it was heading into center field with a chance to tie the game with Alvaro Rubalcaba on second. Instead, Lake County second baseman Jose Fermin made a diving grab, getting up to throw out Adams at first.
And when Nonie Williams and Spencer Griffin were called out on strikes to end the game, Lake County walked away with a 3-2 win.
“We’ve done that to teams all year,” Howell said. “It was bound to happen to us.”
The Bees (48-44 overall, 9-13 second half) are 7-4 in extra-inning games this season, the most wins in extras among Midwest League teams.
But they couldn’t add to that on a night when Lake County (53-38, 13-9) got the big hits.
Burlington built an early 2-0 lead, then the Captains tied the game with two runs in the eighth. Ruben Cardenas smacked a double off Bees pitcher Parker Joe Robinson, then he scored on Daniel Schneeman’s fourth hit of the night, a triple to right-center field. Schneeman scored when Fermin dropped a single over first baseman Connor Fitzsimons.
“They got the big hits when they needed them,” Howell said.
The Captains didn’t even need a hit to score in the 10th. Billy Wilson started the inning on second baseman, and moved to third when Bees reliever Luke Lind (3-3) was called for a balk. Wilson scored on Bo Naylor’s sacrifice fly.
The loss spoiled what was another strong pitching night for the Bees.
Clayton Chatham made his first start for the Bees, giving up four hits and striking out five in five shutout innings. Robinson was one out away from his third shutout inning before Cardenas’ double.
“I thought (Chatham) was really good, giving us five innings,” Howell said. “We wanted to get Robinson stretched out a little bit, and he gave us good innings.”
Marman (2-2) struck out five in two innings for the win.
MAITAN’S SPILL: Bees third baseman Kevin Maitan was taken out of the game for precautionary measures after tumbling over the wall chasing a foul ball down the left-field line.
Josh Rolette hit a pop fly that was headed toward the wall that juts out near the Bees’ bullpen. Maitan couldn’t make the catch and flipped over the wall.
“When you see someone go over like that, the first thing you worry about is did they hit their head,” said Howell, who quickly reached Maitan. “I could tell he was OK once I got out there.”
Maitan, ranked the No. 12 prospect in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization, finished the inning in the field, and struck out to end the Bees’ half of the seventh inning. He was replaced in the top of the eighth by Tim Millard.
“We just wanted to be careful,” Howell said. “He kind of winced a little bit when he was swinging the bat, so the trainer thought it best to get him out. He should be fine — he’ll get treatment after the game and again tomorrow.”
ON DECK: The two teams play a 2 p.m. game on Sunday.
NOTES: Schneeman, who went 4-for-4, is now batting .475 in July with 19 hits. He has a six-game hitting streak. … Bees shortstop Justin Jones had two hits to raise his July average to .355.