By John Bohnenkamp
Jared Townsend’s breaking ball was working, and it helped the Burlington Bees snap their four-game losing streak.
Townsend got his first win in Prospect League play, combining with C.J. Lewis for a three-hitter in the Bees’ 5-1 win over the Normal CornBelters in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader at Community Field.
The CornBelters held the Bees to just four hits in the second game for an 8-3 win.
Townsend, who was the Bees’ starter in the season opener, only got through three innings in the 15-5 win over the Quincy Gems on June 1.
The left-hander was much more effective in this game, and that’s because his arsenal of pitches was better.
“He was really good out there today,” Bees manager Owen Oreskovich said. “He was filling up the (strike) zone more than last time.
“His curveball was working much better tonight. He didn’t have much of a feel for it the first time, so he was basically throwing fastballs. When teams learn that you’re only throwing fastballs, it becomes a little bit easier to hit. But he had his curveball today, and his splitter a little bit.”
Townsend allowed three hits and walked four, but also struck out four.
Lewis didn’t allow a hit over two innings, walking two and striking out one.
“He did a fantastic job of going out there and getting us out of that game with a win,” Oreskovich said.
The Bees scored four runs in the third inning. Sam Monroe drove in a run with a double, then A.J. Henkle followed with a two-run double. Joey Fitzgerald also had a run-scoring single in the inning.
Monroe’s double in the fourth scored Tucker Cole for the Bees’ final run.
The Bees hadn’t won since the season opener, and Oreskovich said there was some frustration.
“No one likes to lose,” he said. “We’re on a little bit of a skid right now. I think we’ll be all right going forward.”
The Bees struggled to get any sort of offense going in the second game. All of their hits were singles.
“You’re not going to win many games with only four hits,” Oreskovich said.
Adrian Nery (0-1) took the loss, allowing six runs over four innings.
UP NEXT: The Bees play the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes in Wednesday’s 6:30 p.m. game at Community Field.
NOTES: Iowa catcher Ben Tallman has joined the team. Tallman played in the second game, going 0-for-3 with a walk. He picked off a baserunner at first base. … Oreskovich expects Spencer Nivens, an outfielder from Missouri State, to join the team last week. Nivens hit .346 with 11 home runs and 52 runs batted in for the Bears, who were eliminated from the NCAA tournament last weekend.
Top photo: Bees pitcher Jared Townsend picked up the win in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)