PERU — Ivan Witt sparked the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp in the seventh inning.
Witt launched a solo home run that tied the game and kick started a five-run inning that lifted the Shrimp to a come-from-behind 10-6 victory over the Burlington Bees on Tuesday at Schweickert Stadium to extend their winning streak to four games.
“Ivan hit a huge home run that kind of jump started us, so that was awesome to see,” Shrimp second baseman Harry Mauterer said.
Following Witt’s homer, Logan Delgado singled and Dio Cornet was hit by a pitch, and after a strikeout, Ivan Hart delivered an RBI single.
Cornet and Hart executed a double steal before Mauterer hit a two-run double to right-center and Hall graduate Chance Resetich followed with a sacrifice fly to extend the Shrimp’s lead to 9-5 after trailing 5-2 through five innings.
“We got a few walks early, and I think we’ve been hitting it really well with runners on base and runners in scoring position,” Mauterer said. “Some guys just came up and produced.”
The Bees closed the gap to 9-6 in the eighth when Spencer Nivens drew a bases-loaded walk, but Cornet hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to extend the Shrimp’s lead back to four.
Zach Losey then pitched out of some trouble in the ninth to close out the game.
He recorded a strikeout and a groundout before walking the bases loaded.
Losey ended the game and secured the Shrimp’s fourth consecutive victory when he got Trey Adams to strikeout out swinging.
“We never say never,” Hart said about the winning streak. “We were down in a couple games and some guys were struggling, but other guys have done a really good job of picking them up. It’s just been really good team play overall to get these four wins.”
The Shrimp (7-5) and Bees (5-9) play again at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday in Peru.
“We just have to do the same stuff we’ve been doing,” Mauterer said. “There’s a good mojo going on in the dugout. I think we’re meshing really well as a team so being able to keep that momentum, keep swinging it well, keep pitching it well and I think we’ll be great.”
The Bees took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Kevin Santiago doubled to left field to score Nivens.
Hart and Christion Cleary each belted a solo home run in the third to give the Shrimp a 2-0 lead before Burlington scored two runs in the fourth and another two in the fifth when Santiago blasted a two-run homer to go up 5-2.
The Shrimp closed the gap to 5-4 with two runs in the sixth when Ottawa graduate Evan Evola doubled and scored when Mauterer reached on an error and Jack Johnston delivered an RBI single.
“This group does a really good job of not giving up,” Shrimp head coach Stefen Henderson said. “They go out and compete every pitch. We string some good ABs together. We never feel like we’re out of a game and I think that’s why we ended up on top this time.”
Mauterer was 1 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs, while Hart went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs. Johnston and Evola also had two hits each.
Justin Rios earned the win in relief as he pitched two scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out two batters and walking none.
Losey threw the final two innings, giving up one earned run on no hits with four strikeouts and seven walks.
“We struggled a little bit,” Henderson said. “They hit the ball around, but we kept competing. The defense gave us a chance. The guys we brought in out of the bullpen gave us a chance, and that’s all you can ask for.”