What looked to be a win for the Burlington Bees turned into a ninth-inning failure, on and off the field.
Burlington carried a five-run lead into the ninth.
Then Lansing tied the game.
Then a bank of lights went out.
Then a thunderstorm hit.
Then, as it turned out, none of that inning counted, and what looked to be a tie game turned into a 7-2 Bees win in a Class A Midwest League game at Community Field.
Lansing scored five runs with one out in the top of the inning before the lights went out and then the game was delayed by rain.
The lights came back on, but because of the thunderstorm and the heavy rain that hit, the game was called off.
That’s when the rule book came into play.
Rule 7.02 (b) (4) (b) of the Official Baseball Rules says that, because the two teams do not play each other again this season, if the score is tied, the game shall be declared a tie game “unless the game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the game, and the home team has not retied the game, in which case the score upon the completion of the last full inning shall stand for the purposes of this rule.”
That meant all of what Lansing did was wiped out, giving the Bees the victory.
The ninth inning started harmlessly. Bees reliever Austin Warren got Reilly Johnson to ground out.
Samad Taylor singled. Kevin Vicuna singled. Chavez Young singled to score Taylor.
Ryan Noda walked to end Warren’s night. Brandon Grudzielanek slapped a single to right field to drive in Vicuna and Young.
A wild pitch by Bees reliever Mayky Perez moved Noda to third, then the game got really weird.
Ball four to Norbetto Obeso got away from Bees catcher Alexis Olmeda. Olmeda thought the pitch hit Obeso, and by the time he realized it was still a live ball, Noda had scored and Grudzielanek reached third.
Obeso stole second base, and as Olmeda jumped up to make a throw, Perez’s pitch got away from him, allowing Grudzielanek to score the tying run.
Perez got out of the inning by getting Gold to pop out and a called a third strike on Jesus Navarro.
Bees general manager Kim Parker came onto the field before the bottom of the ninth to show umpires Jake Botek and Alex Nash the weather radar. At about that time, a bank of lights on the first-base side went out.
Soon after, the thunderstorm hit.
The Bees were cruising before the ninth.
Olmeda hit a two-run double in the second inning to tie the game.
Burlington loaded the bases in the fourth. With Olmeda at the plate, a wild pitch from Lansing starter Maximo Castillo bounced off the wall behind home plate and caromed perfectly to catcher Gold. Kevin Williams, who was on third base, stopped short of home plate when he saw Gold had the ball. After a six-throw rundown, Williams was able to slide safely into home to put the Bees up 3-2.
Olmeda followed with a three-run home run to center field.
Burlington added a run in the seventh. Torii Hunter Jr., doubled and later scored on Franklin Torres’ sacrifice fly.