Strong burst of early offense lifts Snappers over the Bees

Staff Report

The Snappers defeated the Bees, 8-2 on Friday night, snapping their three-game skid after a series sweep at the hands of Peoria. Beloit got the bats going early and often while starter Brett Graves (12-6, 5.11 ERA) kept the Bees’ offense at bay for most of the night.

Burlington starter Kenyan Middleton (5-9, 4.76 ERA) weaved his way out of a jam in the first inning, but the Snappers started to break through against him in the second. After retiring the first batter, Middleton hit Iolana Akau. Shawn Duinkerk followed that up with a single, and then Tim Proudfoot drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. This allowed Joe Bennie to hit a sacrifice fly, giving the Snappers an early 1-0 lead.

That was all Beloit would get in the second, but they did post a crooked number in the third. With one out, Argenis Raga singled, followed by a walk from Sandber Pimentel. This set the stage for a series of run-scoring hits for the Snappers. Akau hit an RBI double to left field, Duinkerk hit a two-run double to right, and Bennie hit an RBI single. This rally extended the Snappers’ lead to 5-0.

The Snappers tacked on three more runs on Pimentel’s RBI infield single in the fourth, another RBI double for Bennie in the fifth, and Raga’s RBI infield single in the eighth.

Beloit’s early outburst of offense was more than enough for starter Brett Graves, who had one of his better starts of the season. He went five innings while giving up two earned runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out eight. The only two blemishes on Graves’ line were an RBI groundout from Taylor Ward and Trevor Gretzky’s RBI triple.

Several Snappers had great days at the plate on Friday. Bennie went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs to remain the hottest hitter in Beloit’s lineup. Duinkerk also had a nice game, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Beloit’s bullpen also did great work: after Graves departed, Rob Huber, Kevin Johnson, and Cody Stull combined for four shutout innings to finish the game and seal Graves’ twelfth win of the season.

The Snappers will play the second game of this three-game series against the Bees today at 7 p.m. Joey Wagman (7-2, 3.59 ERA) will go for Beloit, while Burlington will send Justin Anderson (8-8, 3.12 ERA) to the hill.

For more information about the Beloit Snappers and to see their schedule visit milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t554.

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