TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Windy City ThunderBolts had seven hits and 12 total baserunners, but failed to come up with the big hits in a 6-1 loss to the Traverse City Beach Bums at Wuerfel Park on Sunday night.
The ThunderBolts scored first for the first time in the series when Jayce Ray led off the game with a single. He stood at second with two outs when Chad Cregar singled him in for a 1-0 lead.
The ThunderBolts had several chances to add to the advantage. In the second, after Evan Button doubled, he made it to third with one out, but was thrown out at the plate on a Doug Joyce grounder.
They left six men on base in the first five innings and eight for the game.
The Beach Bums tied the score at one in the third inning. Taylor Wrenn and Jose Vargas hit back-to-back singles and Chase Burch’s sacrifice fly scored Wrenn.
They took the lead the following frame when Chris Cowell’s single scored Matt Howard, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
Traverse City cushioned their lead in the fifth inning with a pair of two-out runs. Wrenn and Carlo Testa each singled and were both in scoring position when Zach Kometani’s two-run single opened a 4-1 advantage.
The Bums added unearned runs against the Bolts’ bullpen in the seventh and eighth innings to put the game out of reach.
Jacob Clem (5-4) earned the win, going six innings for Traverse City, while Daniel Cropper (6-3) gave up four runs in six innings in the loss.
The ThunderBolts return home on Monday to begin a three-game series with the first-place Gateway Grizzlies at Standard Bank Stadium. Game one will feature Brian Oliver (2-5, 5.14) on the mound for the Bolts against Gateway’s Matt Sergey (0-2, 5.62). Kids eat free at the opener of a six-game homestand and anyone not in attendance can tune in to the broadcast through wcthunderbolts.com.
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