TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums scored three runs in the first inning, propelling them to a 7-2 victory over the ThunderBolts in their home opener at Wuerfel Park Friday night.
Brian Heere reached second base on an error to lead off the game for Traverse City and he came in to score on a Jose Vargas triple. Vargas crossed the plate on Chase Burch’s groundout. The Beach Bums scored another first-inning run on back-to-back two-out doubles from Jeff Flagg and Sean Gusrang.
Bolts starter Duke Dykeman lasted just one inning and the Beach Bums added to their lead in the second when reliever Rye Davis ran into some control problems. He walked two batters and hit another to load the bases and the Beach Bums got a run on a Vargas fielder’s choice.
Windy City finally got on the board in the fourth. After Chad Cregar and Billy Nowlin each walked, Brandon Decker doubled home Cregar and moved Nowlin to third. Nowlin was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch, though, and the rally was cut short.
In the seventh, the ThunderBolts had another rally brewing when Mike Mobbs, Chris Wade and Brandon Pearl singled consecutively to cut their deficit to 5-2. But with two on and one out, Scott Dunn struck out both Travis Weaver and Mike Torres, and the Bolts did not threaten again.
Windy City got good relief work from Davis and Blayne Weller, who combined to pitch six innings of two-hit, two-run ball, but Traverse City put the game away in the eighth on a two-run Heere home run.
Dykeman (0-1) took the loss, allowing three unearned runs in his one inning. Matt Miller (1-0) gave up one run out of the Beach Bums bullpen in 2.1 innings for the win.
The Bolts and Bums will duel in game two Saturday night in Traverse City. Ricky Szeligo will make his pro debut for the ThunderBolts while Traverse City will give Jacob Clem his first career start as well. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CDT and the game broadcast can be heard on SportsJuice.com.