By John Bohnenkamp
Tucker Cole should have been out, but wasn’t.
And that, Burlington Bees manager Owen Oreskovich said, might be a sign that things are starting to bounce his team’s way to start the second half of the Prospect League season.
The Bees’ five-run seventh inning proved to be the difference in a 9-7 win over the Cape Catfish on Saturday night at Community Field.
Burlington (13-21 overall, 2-1 second half, Great River Division) has won back-to-back games with late rallies. This one was odd — the only hit for the Bees in the seventh was Trey Adams’ two-run single — but still was fun to Oreskovich to watch.
“Oh yeah, it was a good one,” Oreskovich said.
The Bees came back from a 6-4 deficit with a seventh inning that featured five walks, an error, a hit batsman, a passed ball that brought in one run and a wild pitch that brought home Cole, even though it didn’t look like he was going to score.
The wild pitch from Cape reliever Ray Schroeder bounced off the concrete backstop and right back to catcher Andrew Sharp, who whirled to throw to Schroeder covering the plate.
Cole was still several steps from the plate, and Oreskovich, coaching from the third-base box, thought it was going to be an easy out.
“Oh my God,” Oreskovich said, laughing. “(Cole) took off, (the pitch) hit the bricks, and I was like, ‘No…'”
But Schroeder couldn’t handle Sharp’s throw. Cole, who had stopped when he thought he was going to be tagged, darted around Schroeder and scored the fifth run of the inning.
“That’s when you get the feeling that something is going your way here,” Oreskovich said.
It proved to be a key run when the Catfish (14-20, 2-1 Prairie Land Division) tried to come back in the ninth. Kyle Maurer, who got his third save of the season, retired the first two hitters before the Catfish loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Cam Careswell scored on a wild pitch, but with runners on second and third Maurer struck out Christopher Hall to end the game.
The Bees won all four games against the Catfish in their season series.
Nick Tampa (1-1) was the winning pitcher.
“Tampa was incredible, but he has been this entire summer,” Oreskovich said. “He’s not a guy that’s going to blow it by you, but he gives his defense a chance. He’s been so good.”
ON DECK: The Bees play host to the Clinton LumberKings in a 2 p.m. game on Sunday.
Photo: Nick Tampa was the winning pitcher for the Bees in Saturday’s 9-7 win over the Cape Catfish. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)