By John Bohnenkamp
Getting runners on base wasn’t a problem for the Burlington Bees.
Getting them to advance was a different thing.
The Bees had baserunners in seven innings, but lost 3-0 to the O’Fallon Hoots in Saturday’s Prospect League game at Community Field.
Burlington (10-10) stayed in a first-place tie with the Normal CornBelters in the Great River Division.
The Bees had six hits and 12 baserunners, but only one baserunner got to third base against O’Fallon pitchers Tyler Denu and Anthony Klein.
“We struggled to get a guy to second, to be honest,” Bees manager Gary McClure said. “We just couldn’t string anything together.”
Denu (1-0) threw 80 pitches in seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out three. Anthony Klein hit three batters in the last two innings, but the Bees couldn’t come up with any hits.
“(Denu) threw a great game,” McClure said. “He minimized his pitch count, threw really well. He obviously kept our guys off-balance all night.”
All of the Bees’ hits were singles. Austin Simpson had two hits.
The Hoots got two runs in the first off Bees starter Jalen Evans (1-1) on singles by Elias Stevens and JT Mabry. Jamie Young scored on a fielder’s choice in the fourth for O’Fallon’s other run.
“If you look through the whole game, they didn’t hit one ball on the barrel,” McClure said. “Broken bats, or off the end of the bats. Bloopers. But that’s baseball.”
RELIEF: Burlington’s Simon Gregersen pitched four scoreless innings in relief. He threw 47 pitches, 33 for strikes.
STREAKS: Burlington’s Jackson Jones had his 10-game hitting streak snapped. Jones was hitting .450 in the streak. … Bees shortstop Mason Land extended his hitting streak to four games.
FAMILY TREE: Mabry is the son of former Major League Baseball player John Mabry.
DEFENSIVE GEMS: Gregersen got some help in the seventh inning. Clayton Stephens led off with a single, then Luke Vinson hit a line drive that Land lunged to catch. Land got up and threw out Vinson had first to complete the double play. Nick Hofmann then doubled, but Gregersen picked him off to end the inning.
UP NEXT: The Bees play host to the Quincy Gems on Sunday in a 2 p.m. game.
Photo: Burlington Bees first baseman Austin Simpson singles in the fourth inning. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)