David Nathanson scattered six hits over 7.1 innings while the Traverse City Beach Bums broke open a close game in the sixth inning as the Beach Bums downed the Windy City ThunderBolts 7-2.
Traverse City scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning as with one out, a wild pitch scored Mike Epping from third. Two batters later, Mike Victor doubled down the leftfield line, scoring Sean Hoorelbeke and putting the Beach Bums up 2-0.
Windy City would crack the scoreboard in the fourth as Vinnie Scarduzio launched a long homerun, clearing the 380’ sign out in right-centerfield, bouncing halfway up the berm, cutting the TC lead to 2-1.
The Beach Bums would plate a run in the fifth inning on an RBI groundout by Al Barbato to go back up by two. TC would then break things open in the sixth as they sent eight men to the plate, scoring four times, the big shot a two-run triple from Brad Miller as when the dust settles, Traverse City lead 7-1.
Windy City would score a run on an infield single by Gilberto Mejia in the ninth, but that was as close as they would get as Jeff Williams struck out pinch-hitter Wade Lamont to end the game.
The runs came in support of Nathanson (2-7) who was strong in his first second half start allowing the ThunderBolts one run while striking out seven. Dylan Axelrod (2-1) suffered his first loss of the year giving up three runs in five innings. Jeff Williams came in with the bases loaded in the ninth and preserved the victory for his 11th save of the season.
The second game of the series is on Saturday with Dustin Pease (6-2, 4.83) on the mound for the ThunderBolts against Jason Kiley (3-6, 4.48) for Traverse City. There is action at Standard Bank Stadium on Saturday as the Chicago Fire Department will play two games against the U. S. Military All-Stars with the game starting at 7 p.m. There will be fireworks after both games. For information or tickets, call 708-489-BALL stop by the Standard Bank Stadium ticket office or go to the team’s website at www.wcthunderbolts.com