BEES 3, COUGARS 0: It was like flipping back the calendar

Photo: Burlington Bees left fielder Ryan Vega tracks down a fly ball in Sunday’s game. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)

By John Bohnenkamp

It felt like spring.

Not the weather, of course. Sunday’s Class A Midwest League game between the Burlington Bees and Kane County Cougars at Community Field was played on a humid, overcast day.

But the Bees’ 3-0 win was much like a lot of those games in the chilly first half — great pitching, timely hitting.

Kyle Tyler (7-1), Luis Alvarado and Ethan Clark combined on a three-hit shutout for the Bees (57-62 overall, 18-31 second half), who have won back-to-back games against the Cougars (68-50, 33-16), the second-half Western Division leader.

“Good pitching beats good hitting, right?” Bees manager Jack Howell said. “Like we continue to say, the real good success we had in the first half was just incredible pitching, and then just find a way to get runs across, which is what today’s game was?”

It was the second consecutive game of quality pitching — Clayton Chatham and Ed Del Rosario combined for the victory in Saturday’s 2-1 game.

Tyler allowed three hits and struck out five while not allowing a walk. Alvarado walked two in three innings. Clark pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save.

All of Burlington’s runs came in the fifth. Nonie Williams’ triple scored Francisco Del Valle with the first run, then Williams scored on Justin Jones’ single. Kevin Maitan’s bases-loaded walk accounted for the third run.

It was enough against the Cougars, who lead the Midwest League with a 2.78 earned run average.

“Would you like to score more and get more hits? Sure. But they have one of the best pitching staffs in the league,” Howell said.

Jackson Goddard (5-4) was the losing pitcher.

ON DECK: The two teams conclude their three-game series with Monday’s 6:30 p.m. game. Burlington’s Keith Rogalla (0-0, 2.70) will face Kane County’s Michel Gelabert (3-1, 1.99).

NOTES: Monday’s game is the final appearance of the season for the Cougars at Community Field. The two teams will meet in the final three-game series of the season at Kane County Aug. 31-Sept. 2. … Attendance was 2,188 on Community Basket Day.

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