TRAVERSE CITY, MI – J.T. Hall hit his league-leading 16th homer in the first inning Friday night and the Traverse City Beach Bums did not trail the rest of the way, defeating the ThunderBolts 4-2 in the second half opener.
Hall’s first-inning homer put the Beach Bums up 1-0, a score that held until the fifth. Both Matt Jernstad and Traverse City starter David Deminsky were excellent, with neither pitcher allowing more than one base runner in an inning until the Bums rallied in the fifth.
With one out in the fifth, Tom Zebroski doubled and John Parham singled. After a Zach Pace fielder’s choice, Matt Brown doubled home two runs to put his side up 3-0.
Mike Torres tripled with one out in the fourth for Windy City and that was the closest the ThunderBolts came to scoring until the seventh. With one out, Devin Shepherd singled and Chad Cregar walked, chasing Deminsky. Reliever Scott Reid hit Chris Wade before new catcher Lee Rubin singled home the Bolts’ first run. Another newcomer, Quentin Luquette, drove in another run on a sacrifice fly, making it a one run game.
The Beach Bums put it away, though, in the eighth. They scored their fourth run when Chase Burch walked with two outs and stole second. He then came all the way around to score on a Hall infield single, putting the game away at 4-2.
Deminsky picked up the win (2-1) while Jernstad took the loss despite pitching well (3-6). Scott Mueller set down the ThunderBolts offense in order in the ninth to collect his twelfth save of the year.
The same two teams will be in action on Saturday night at 6:05 CDT at Wuerfel Park. Dustin Williams (6-3) will start for the Bolts against Traverse City’s Matt Smith (0-2). The game can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.
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