By JOHN BOHNENKAMP
A balk that brought in the go-ahead run.
A dropped third strike that ended a game on a play when no one quite knew what happened.
Oh, and there was the 5-3-2 double play on a sacrifice bunt.
There will be nights in the Prospect League when games can get a little strange, and the Normal CornBelters’ 6-4 win over the Burlington Bees on Wednesday at Community Field was one of those.
An eighth-inning balk called on Bees reliever Jaden Siemer brought in Scott Newman with the go-ahead run, then J.D. Bogart’s single drove in Daniel Young with a second run as Normal (5-2) held on for the win and ended the three-game home winning streak for the Bees (3-4).
“It’s a little frustrating, for sure,” Bees manager Owen Oreskovich said.
The Bees had tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on Cedric Dunnwald’s two-run single with one out, but two strikeouts sandwiched around a Kooper Schulte walk that loaded the bases ended the inning.
“We still had a chance to fight and score some runs earlier, to make (the balk) not a problem,” Oreskovich said.
The CornBelters had runners on first and third in the eighth when base umpire Louis Galligan called the balk on Siemer.
“He said (Siemer) didn’t come set,” Oreskovich said. “But I thought he was doing the same thing he had been doing the whole time.”
Bogart, hitting No. 8 in the lineup, then singled to left field to score Young.
“It kind of gave them a little momentum there, and then they get a base hit out of the ‘8’ hole,” Oreskovich said.
The Bees were retired in order over the last two innings, although there was some confusion on the final out. A 2-2 pitch to Dunnwald went over the glove of Bogart, the CornBelters’ catcher. The pitch was called a strike, but Dunnwald stood at home plate before realizing the call. Bogart was able to track the ball down and throw Dunnwald out at first.
Oreskovich argued the call with plate umpire Brian Ingram, but the game was over.
Four Bees pitchers combined for five walks and 11 strikeouts, but three of the runs in the game were unearned.
“I thought our pitchers did a great job, all around,” Oreskovich said. “They did their job for us to win the game. They just had hits with runners in scoring position when they got them there, and they took advantage of some mistakes, too.”
Bees starter Jacob Zahner walked one and struck out five in five innings.
Dylan Haslett, who relieved Zahner, walked Young to lead off the sixth. Camden Ruby followed with a bunt up the third-base line. Third baseman Jaden Hackbarth fielded the ball and threw Ruby out at first, but Young started to head to third since no one was covering the base. Catcher Ian Wolski raced to cover the base, making the tag on Young for the second out.
Drake Downing (1-0) was the winning pitcher.
ON DECK: The Bees are on the road to play the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes on Thursday in a game that won’t count in the standings for either team. The two teams will play a similar game at Community Field on June 29.
NOTES: Schulte went 2-for-4 with a double and a run. He has six hits in his first nine at-bats since joining the team on Sunday. … Hackbarth had two hits and scored twice.
Photo: Bees catcher Ian Wolski tags out Normal’s Daniel Young at third base in the sixth inning. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)