CRESTWOOD, IL – The Traverse City Beach Bums jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Wednesday night and the ThunderBolts were unable to claw their way back in a 9-3 loss at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Bolts were their own worst enemy in this game, walking nine, committing four errors and leaving twelve men on base.
The trouble started in the third, when Ryan Still walked for Traverse City, moved to second on an error and scored on another error, making it 1-0.
The Bums added four runs in the third. After two men walked with one out, Still singled, to score Chris Kay. Brian Heere then knocked in two runs on his second double of the night. Starter Donovan Drake departed, and with Michael Jahns pitching, Kyle Colligan singled and Jose Vargas hit a sacrifice fly.
It became 6-0 in the fifth when the Beach Bums scored on three walks and a hit batter.
The ThunderBolts began a comeback in the fifth, scoring two runs on a Mike Torres two-out single. Zach Aakhus had been hit by a pitch and Bob Glover doubled to set up the RBI hit.
The score was 7-2 in the eighth when Brandon Decker hit his sixth homer of the year, once again cutting the deficit to four. The Bolts loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Scott Dunn got out of the jam.
Traverse City added two ninth-inning runs to seal the victory at 9-3.
Brooks Belter (3-0) went 5.2 innings for the win while Donovan Drake (1-1) took his first career loss. Dunn earned his third save.
Game two of the series will be played Thursday night at Standard Bank Stadium. $1.25 domestic draft beer will be offered for Bud Light Thirsty Thursday. Mike Recchia (3-2) will get the start for Windy City against Traverse City’s Bennett Whitmore (2-1). The game begins at 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.