The River City Rascals (36-31) held off a late rally to complete the season sweep against the Traverse City Beach Bums (24-41) with a 9-8 win Sunday evening at Wuerfel park and improved to five games over the .500 mark for the first time since August 30, 2016.
Six of the opponents runs came in the final two frames and they brought the tying run up to the plate in the ninth inning with two outs but a fly out induced by Cody Mincey to center fielder Brandon Thomas ended the game.
Prior to Mincey, five other Rascals took the mound and were led by righty Zeb Sneed who earned his third win of the year.
In his second game back from the injured reserved list, Sneed tossed five innings and allowed two runs, earned, on three hits and struck out one while tossing 68 pitches.
“It was a tough day to pitch with the wind blowing straight out but Sneed battled through it and had a quality outing with his pitch count,” manager Steve Brook said.
Offensively for the Rascals, four separate players notched at least two RBI and one of the four was Paul Kronenfeld. The first year Rascal got his team on the board first with a two-out RBI double in the opening frame against the Beach Bums starter Reinaldo Lopez.
In the second inning, the Rascals sent eight batters to the plate and after Martinez smoked a ball to the second baseman that went down as a line out, his team strung together four straight hits and took a 2-0 lead via a RBI single from Mike Jurgella.
One pitch later, Johnny Morales doubled the Rascals lead with a two RBI double and he would dart home later in the inning to give his team a 5-1 lead on a RBI single from Kronenfeld.
Josh Silver made it 6-1 with a sacrifice fly to give him his 38th RBI of the year and then the Rascals offense was held stagnant the next three innings before a huge eighth frame gave the Rascals just enough runs of support to the pitching staff.
Beach Bums starter, Lopez, was still the game at this point and having already thrown 100 pitches, Braxton Martinez got the better of Lopez and led off the eighth with a solo shot for his ninth home run of the year.
The Rascals would tally one more extra-base hit against Lopez before he was replaced by reliever Matt Williams and Jurgella greeted him with a RBI double to put the Rascals up 8-2.
Silver capped off the Rascals nine run, 13 hit night with a RBI double of his own that plated Jurgella and the three run frame marked the sixth time this year against the Beach Bums that the Rascals scored at least three runs in an inning. Overall, the Rascals outscored the opponent 50-16.
“We swung the bats and manufactured runs well tonight,” Brook said. “We could have broken the game open more but some of the balls we hit hard went right at people.”
The Rascals look to continue their winning ways as they head back home to CarShield Field and open up a seven game homestand against the top two teams in the western division, Florence and Evansville.
“We got a big series coming up against Florence and our guys are excited for it,” Brook said. “We have not played well against Florence as of late so we can’t wait to get after it against them and hopefully have a good homestand against two good teams.”
First pitch Tuesday night is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.