This was hardly a night from the Boys of Summer Collection, with rain/sleet/snow lashing Parkview Field, the mercury cliff-diving through the 30s and every chilled breath curling visibly around every well-swaddled head.
But it was the TinCaps for whom the weather gods reserved their coldest shoulder.
Burlington led 4-2 with one out in the seventh when a blinding snow shower whitened the field, interrupted play and inspired the TinCaps public address operators to serenade the sparse crowd with Christmas carols and selections from Frozen. The announced attendance was 2,156.
Thirty minutes later, the game was called as the rarest of things: A snow-shortened Bees victory.
That was unbelievable, said TinCaps designated hitter Dustin Peterson, who grew up in Arizona. I’ve played in heat, I’ve played where the sun’s just beat on ya, but I’ve never played in snow. That was just unbelievable.
And TinCaps manager Michael Collins, a native of Canberra, Australia?
I haven’t seen winter in 14 years, so that was definitely something new, he said.
And it interrupted what for a while was a fruitful night for the TinCaps (3-7).
They led twice in the first four innings but, in rapidly deteriorating conditions, couldn’t answer a two-run Bees’ fifth, managing just four hits and none after the third inning.
Burlington, meanwhile, got the go-ahead runs in the fifth when Erick Salcedo cracked a leadoff single, Chad Hinshaw walked with one out and Mark Shannon, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, tripled to chase both of them home.
That gave the Bees (6-4) a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish. They added another run in the seventh on back-to-back singles by Eric Aguilera and Angel Rosa before the snow ended things.
The Bees rapped out 11 hits against TinCaps pitchers Adrian De Horta and Tony Rizzotti, while Bees starter Harrison Cooney went five innings and gave up four hits to get the win.
The TinCaps scored a run in the second on Fernando Perez’s one-out single and Franchy Cordero’s two-out single, and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Luis Tejada scored on Henry Charles’ infield groundout. Josh VanMeter was 2-for-4 to lead the TinCaps’ offense, which Peterson insisted wasn’t done when the snow came.
We still had plenty of time, still had plenty of game left, he said. I can’t predict what could have happened, but I think we could have gotten something going if it hadn’t been for the snow.
Now it’s on to tonight, and a second shot at the Bees.
I think on the road trip we turned a bit of a corner there, Collins said. We had some great at-bats, and again our pitchers to continue to produce, especially the late part of the bullpen.