A triple play, sod delays, extra innings, and the postgame lighting of the new Ferris wheel behind the leftfield wall — just another day in The QC.
Fans at Monday night’s game between the Burlington Bees and the Quad Cities River Bandits got to see all those things at Modern Woodmen Park. The triple play, however, was nothing new to the current Bees squad — the one they turned in the bottom of the 8th inning was their second one in 10 days. (The first one came against the Kane County Cougars on May 10.)
The triple play began when Bees 1B Eric Aguilera — the reigning Midwest League offensive player of the week — caught a line drive off the bat of River Bandits DH Conrad Gregor. Aguilera stepped on first base to record the second out, and then threw to SS Erick Salcedo for the third out.
(Interesting side note: The Bees weren’t the only minor-league team to turn a triple play Monday. The Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in the International League, also pulled off the feat in the 8th inning, and their game went extra innings, too!)
Aguilera also drove in two runs, including the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th inning. Fortunately for the Bees, LF Brandon Bayardi followed Aguilera’s extra-inning RBI single with one of his own, because the River Bandits responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Quad Cities left the tying run on base and lost 5-4.
The game began a half-hour later than scheduled and was delayed for seven minutes during the 1st inning because of field problems where patches of new sod were removed by the grounds crew after batting practice. The sod was removed because it hadn’t established firm roots and therefore could have been a danger to players. (You can read more about that here.)
The grounds crew continued to work on the trouble spots this morning, as seen in this photo tweeted by Bees broadcaster Michael Broskowski:
After Monday’s game concluded, the new Ferris wheel was lit up for the first time. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good photos of the light show, but if I come across one later, I’ll post it here.) Ferris wheel rides begin Saturday.