By John Bohnenkamp
Chas Sagedahl had struggled in his first three starts with the Burlington Bees.
Everything came together for the left-hander in Thursday’s 2-0 win over the Normal CornBelters in the second game of a Prospect League doubleheader at Community Field.
Normal won the first game, 6-3.
Sagedahl pitched five shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, but didn’t get the decision as the Bees (16-15 overall, 1-1 second half) scored both of their runs in the sixth innings.
Still, it was an important outing for Sagedahl, who pitched just 2 1/3 innings at Dallas Baptist this season. He had an 0-1 record with a 10.39 earned run average in three starts with the Bees, allowing 17 hits in 8 2/3 innings.
“It was very big for the confidence, especially struggling here and there the first couple of outings,” said Sagedahl, who pitched for two seasons at Southeastern Community College. “But basically, it was getting back to normal, and hopefully continuing like this the rest of the year.”
“He kept them off-balance, literally, through the five innings he was out there,” Bees manager Gary McClure said. “They really didn’t get good swings off him at all. He had a ton of swing-and-misses.”
Avery Owesu Asiedu had the only hits off Sagedahl, a double in the second inning and a single in the fourth. Sagedahl retired nine of the last 10 hitters he faced.
“He really attacked hitters more,” McClure said. “He got all three pitches for strikes. I think he had good run on his fastball away from hitters, and he was able to go (inside). When we called pitches in, he was able to go inside. He just pitched a really good ball game. I take my hat off to him.”
Lincoln Riley’s triple on a fly ball down the left-field line opened the sixth for the Bees. Reid Halfacre then singled to right field to bring in Riley. Mason Land’s bases-loaded ground out scored Halfacre with the other run.
Garrett Langrell (5-0) got the win for the Bees, striking out four in the last two innings.
Normal’s best scoring chance came in the sixth, when Billy Gerlott tried to score from second base on a passed ball. But catcher Chase Honeycutt made a perfect throw to Langrell covering the plate, and Gerlott was tagged out.
Normal (15-13, 1-1), which edged the Bees for the first-half title in the Great River Division by a half-game, had 11 hits in the first game, nine of which were singles.
Taylor Bruninga (3-0) was the winning pitcher. Simon Gregersen (1-3) took the loss.
ON DECK: The Bees play host to Clinton to start a two-game series on Friday.
NOTES: Bees catcher Jackson Jones got his league-leading 13th double to drive in a run in the first game. … Riley was 3-for-6 in the doubleheader, and made a diving catch on Alex Steinbach’s fly ball to center field for the second out in the fourth inning of the second game. Riley has a six-game hitting streak, hitting .375 in that stretch. … Normal assistant coach Adam Donachie played for the Bees in 2004 when they were affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
Top photo: Chas Sagedahl threw five shutout innings in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Normal. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)