BELOIT - These are the dog days of the Midwest League season. Anyone looking for proof of that need look no further than Pohlman Field Thursday night.
The Beloit Snappers, playing on a red-hot night, battled back from a 6-0 deficit to crawl within a run at 6-5 before completely falling apart in the ninth inning on the way to an ugly 13-7 loss that took three hours, 38 minutes to complete.
Much like Wednesday night, the Snappers took their sweet time waking up offensively. Beloit trailed 6-0 heading into the sixth frame when Logan Farrar keyed a five-run rally to put the Snappers right back into it. Farrar blasted his second home run of the season, a three-run blast that cut the deficit to one.
But the Whitecaps responded with a run in the seventh, then tattooed Brandon Withers to the tune of six runs in 2-3 of an inning in the ninth, pushing the game out of reach and eliminating any sort of positive vibes the comeback had engineered.
Snappers manager Lloyd Turner said not all hits and runs are created equal.
"It's not always what kind of hits you get, it's when you get them," Turner said. "The kind where you are down five runs and are trying to get back into the game aren't as important as those that come in a game where it's one or two runs the entire way. We've just got to be more consistent with how we do things, that's the bottom line."
The loss was the fifth straight for the Snappers, who are staring down the barrel of a red-hot weekend. Were it not for the general ineptitude of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who found themselves with a rather incredible 4-22 second-half record, the Snappers would be in the cellar for the second straight half.
Adding insult to the injury was losing again to the Whitecaps, the only team in the Midwest League with a worse overall record than Beloit. It was the first time since late April the Whitecaps had captured back-to-back road wins.
Reid Birlingmair (2-5) got the start for the Snappers and struggled, allowing six runs in 5 1-3 innings of work. Joseph Pena led the team at the plate, going 3-for-4 while Skyler Weber added a pair of hits.
Farrar said the team is growing tired of moral victories at this point in the season.
"Yeah, things are tough right now," Farrar said. "It's hot out and you have to battle through things. We're happy we came back and got into the game. We turned it over to the bullpen, and we trust those guys. They've done a great job all season, and they had a rough game, but that's OK. At some point, you just want to win ball games. We've got to get both sides clicking. We've been a streaky team all year, and we need to get on a good streak."
The Snappers will try to salvage the finale of their three-game series Friday at 6:30 p.m.