GEMS 9, BEES 2: The Division Leaders Get Another Step Ahead

By John Bohnenkamp

Time is running out for the Burlington Bees to keep chasing the Prospect League’s Great River Division second-half title.

Losing at home to one of the division leaders doesn’t help.

Friday’s 9-2 loss to the Quincy Gems at Community Field knocked the Bees 2 1/2 games behind the Gems and Clinton LumberKings in the standings.

Six of the Bees’ last 11 games are against the Gems and LumberKings, so there are opportunities to move up.

Still, the clock on the season is ticking.

“You know, if we wanted to stay in it, we needed to win tonight, and we didn’t do it,” Bees manager Gary McClure said. “You’ve got to move on to the next one.”

The Bees (23-26 overall, 8-12 second half) tied the game at 2 in the second on AJ Henkle’s two-run home run. But the Gems (25-25, 12-11) got a three-run home run from Jake Skrine in the fifth, then added four runs in the seventh inning.

Chas Sagedahl (1-3) took the loss. Sagedahl had given up four earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in his last three starts, but was charged with five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

“He’s pitched good lately,” McClure said. “He’s had three or four outings in a row where he’s been really effective. Two pitches killed him tonight.”

ROSTER CHANGES: The Bees continue to have roster changes as the season comes to an end.

First baseman Austin Simpson left the team because of a family emergency. Reliever Reece Wissinger also left the team.

Simpson hit. .312 with four home runs and 23 runs batted in. Wissinger was 3-0 with four saves and a 1.92 earned run average. He struck out 41 in 18 2/3 innings.

“It’s part of the deal with this league,” McClure said. “It’s going to happen, especially later on (in the season). We’ve had more than I like, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Photo: AJ Henkle is greeted by Bees third-base coach Owen Oreskovich after his two-run home run. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)

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