Clearly the ‘Shoes have been looking forward to the off day on Monday, as they wasted no time with the Burlington Bees, who defeated the ‘Shoes 7-0 this past Wednesday night.
A double-play groundout from Jayden Myren would push across Payton Pennington for the first run of the afternoon, giving the ‘Shoes a quick 1-0 advantage after one. Pennington reached on an error, and was in scoring position after a walk and a stolen base.
Free passes were an issue for both teams early on.
Corbin Bassham was making his second start of the season, and the two-way player ran into his own set of problems in the top of the second.
Three walks and hit-by-pitch allowed the Bees to tie the game right back up at one. Thankfully, he induced a 4-6-3 double play to limit the damage to just one run.
Peter Jelenic would put the ‘Shoes right back in front with a screaming double over the center fielder’s head, scoring Cooper Combs and Joe Kolbeck.
Bees starter Jared Townsend would slowly begin to unravel as the inning went on. The lefty would walk Johnny Colombo, and Case Sparks would load the bases with a perfect bunt up the third base line. Three more walks of Nasir Frederick, Jayden Myren, and Johnny Colombo would give the ‘Shoes a 6-1 lead with only one out.
A strikeout of Cooper Combs would give Townsend a golden opportunity to at least escape the inning.
Enter Joe Kolbeck, looking for his second hit in the inning.
He launched a skyscraping grand slam over the left field fence, giving the ‘Shoes a 10-1 lead.
Jared Townsend would stay in the game for one more batter, and a walk of Peter Jelenic would end his day. He finished with nine earned runs and six walks in just 1.2 innings.
While Corbin Bassham did not have his best day, he held the Bees down enough for the hot ‘Shoes offense to carry the load. A two-RBI single from Alex Henkle would cut the deficit down to 10-3, with six more innings to play.
New Bees’ pitcher Adrian Nery replicated his starter’s issues with a walk and a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the third, paving the way for Jayden Myren and Jacob Compton to drive in a run each, and putting the lead back at nine after three.
A scoreless fourth sent the game right along, as relievers Adrain Nery and ‘Shoes Max Charlton did their jobs to keep their respective opponents at bay.
Jayden Myren would record another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, scoring Payton Pennington. Jacob Compton would follow suit with an RBI groundout, scoring Nasir Frederick. Joe Kolbeck would then continue to smash the baseball, with a frozen rope double over the left fielder’s head, scoring Cooper Combs.
The ‘Shoes would be in prime position to mercy rule back-to-back opponents, leading 15-3 after five.
Payton Pennington got on the RBI train in the bottom of the sixth with a groundout to shortstop, and Nasir Frederick would kick the extra point on a sacrifice fly, scoring Case Sparks. The ‘Shoes had a two-touchdown lead heading into the seventh.
Lucas Otto and Christopher Gory would shut down the Bees in the sixth and seventh, respectively, with only one runner reaching base.
Corbin Bassham (1-0) would get his first win of the season, and Jared Townsend (1-1) would take his first loss.
The luck has certainly not been on the side of the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes so far this season, but it is nice to not need it sometimes.
The ‘Shoes (5-7) will enjoy their first off day after 12 straight games, and will return to action on Tuesday hosting the division-leading Alton River Dragons.
The Burlington Bees will look to rebound after their own off day, as they travel to Illinois Valley to play the Pistol Shrimp on Tuesday.