By John Bohnenkamp
The final offensive outburst for the Burlington Bees at Community Field was brief.
Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Clinton LumberKings was the final home game for the Bees in the Class A Midwest League season, and it felt like a repeat of Thursday’s game.
Clinton starter Jake Walters threw seven no-hit innings — one night after Remey Reed threw six perfect innings to start the game — and yet the Bees still had their chance to win the game after a big eighth inning.
The Bees got a two-run single from Johan Sala and an RBI groundout from Livan Soto, but when Clinton added two runs in the ninth, that one inning was only a tease.
Burlington pitchers Robinson Pina, Dylan King and Greg Veliz combined to strike out 17, one night after the Bees’ pitchers had 18 strikeouts, but Clinton put together enough hits to stay tied with Kane County for the Western Division lead heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
Pina struck out seven in four innings, but three errors and two singles hurt in Clinton’s two-run third inning.
The LumberKings added two more runs off King in the eighth, taking advantage of three walks, then scored their final two runs in the ninth, one on a throwing error.
Harrison Wenson had a one-out single in the ninth, but that would be the last noise.
The Bees had their chance at a first-half playoff spot, but two losses to Peoria in the final weekend forced them into a tiebreaker with Cedar Rapids, which they lost. The second half was punctuated by three losses to start the half and a nine-game losing streak in early August.
They get three final games at Kane County this weekend.
“I thought we had a good season, especially in the first half,” Bees manager Jack Howell said. “We appreciate the support we got from the community this year, and this is a great organization. Now we want to finish strong.”