It was a back and forth matchup for the second game of the season but the Traverse City Beach Bums(1-1) prevailed over the Normal Cornbelters(1-1), 8-7, as Max Dutto banged a lead-off solo homer over the right field wall in the final inning.
Chris Iriart, who had three RBI the night before, started the scoring with a sacrifice fly, in the first. With one out in the bottom of the third, Donald Glover Jr. Walked, Kenny Peoples-Walls singled, and Will Kengor walked, loading the bases for Luke Lowery. In what would become a theme of the evening, Lowery fouled off some tough pitches, eventually drawing the walk to even the score. A two-out mini-rally in the fourth gave the Bums a 2-1 lead on a Max Dutto double and an RBI single by Glover.
Both teams brought eight to the plate in the sixth as the bats exploded. Isaac Benard led off the top of the inning with a single then Kendall Patrick reached on an error. Dutto moved them up to second and third with a sacrifice bunt bringing Glover to the plate. He hit a grounder to deep short, scoring Benard. After Peoples-Walls was walked to put runners on the corners, Will Kengor dribbled a ground ball up the third base line, scoring Patrick. Luke Lowery followed with an RBI double, extending the Beach Bums’ lead to 5-1.
In the bottom of the inning, Normal started with five hits in a row, including an RBI single by Derek Loveless and a grand slam by Tanner Lubach, giving the Cornbelters a 6-5 lead. Stephen Lohr led off the seventh with his second walk of the game then moved to third on a infield hit by Dutto. Following a Glover walk, Peoples-Walls gave Traverse City a 7-6 lead with a two-run single to center. The lead was short-lived as Nick Cain led off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run. Both teams went scoreless in the eighth, leading to the Dutto game-winner in the ninth.
Will Coursen-Carr earned the win in relief for the Beach Bums, allowing one hit and fanning one in a scoreless eighth inning of work. The Indiana native nabs his first professional victory. Anthony Herrera limited the damage after giving up the game-winning homer but suffered the loss to drop to 0-1. Matt Williams induced three straight infield pop-ups to earn his first save of the season.
The Beach Bums and Cornbelters will lock up for the rubber game this weekend’s opening series tomorrow night with a 7:05pm first pitch. Jordan Desguin takes the ball for the Beach Bums and Billy Roth starts for Normal. Tom Willms will get the broadcast going with the Budweiser pre-game show at 6:45pm, exclusively on TCBeachBums.com
Opening night is Wednesday, May 23rd, and you’ll get double the bang for your buck with a doubleheader against the Florence Freedom. Magnet schedules will be given out to the first 500 fans, so arrive early and don’t miss out! The gates open at 4pm with first pitch for game one set to begin at 5:05pm. For information and tickets, go to TCBeachBums.com or call the office at (231) 943-0100.