CRESTWOOD, IL – Casey Rodrigue hit the first home run of his career, a three-run shot in the fifth inning, to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Traverse City Beach Bums to their third straight win over the ThunderBolts, 5-1 at Standard Bank Stadium Monday morning.
The Beach Bums (14-25) scored a first-inning run for the third consecutive day as Jose Vargas hit his third home run of the series to make it 1-0.
The ThunderBolts (22-17) tied the score in the bottom of the first inning. Coco Johnson hit a leadoff single and Ransom LaLonde reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing to second on an error. Cody Keefer followed with a two-out RBI single.
The game became a pitchers’ duel after the first, as Clay Chapman did not allow a Beach Bum past first base over the next three innings. Kramer Champlin allowed just two singles over the next five innings.
Traverse City reached on back-to-back base hits to begin the fifth. After a sacrifice bunt, Jeff DeBlieux hit a grounder that got Ryan Bottger thrown out at the plate for the second out. Rodrigue came up and took a 1-2 count before hitting his deep fly to right field that scored three runs.
A Christian Santisteban RBI double in the ninth capped the Beach Bums’ scoring.
The ThunderBolts had a few chances in the late innings, picking up four hits over the final three innings, but they couldn’t break through.
Champlin (2-4) allowed just an unearned run in seven innings, picking up the win. Clay Chapman’s one mistake to Rodrigue was enough to drop his record to 4-2. He allowed four runs in seven innings.
The ThunderBolts begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday that will start in Evansville. Jake Fisher (4-1, 3.00) will start game one for the Bolts against the Otters’ Tyler Vail (1-1, 3.24). First pitch from Bosse Field is scheduled for 6:35 and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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