TRAVERSE CITY, MI–The River City Rascals bounced back from a disappointing homestand to win both ends of a doubleheader against the Traverse City Beach Bums at Wuerfel Park on Wednesday. The Rascals used a big seven-run frame in the seventh inning of the first game to win 8-1 and took a back-and-forth second game 8-7 behind a three-run seventh.
After a Kevin Suarez sacrifice fly in the fifth inning put the Rascals up 1-0 in the opener, the Beach Bums got on the board with a Luke Lowery RBI triple in the sixth. The Rascals sent 11 men to the plate in the seventh, scoring seven runs to take a commanding 8-1 lead. The Rascals got a bases loaded walk from JD Hearn, a two-run infield single from Stephen Kerr, a two-run single up the middle from Mike Jurgella and a two-run double from Paul Kronenfeld.
Rascals starter Dan Ludwig went five scoreless innings in a no-decision, and Joe Iorio (3-1) earned the win in relief. Traverse City starter John Havird (1-3) took the loss, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings.
In the second game, the Rascals got off to an early lead on a sacrifice fly from Kerr in the first inning, but the Beach Bums tied the game in the home half of the frame on an RBI double from Lowery. The Rascals got a home run from Braxton Martinez in the third, and after the Beach Bums’ Isaac Benard hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the third, the Rascals scored two in the fourth on RBI singles from Connor Oliver and Jurgella. The Bums scored four runs in the fourth, aided by two wild pitches from the Rascals, but River City stormed back with four unanswered, including an RBI double from JD Hearn in the top of the seventh to tie the game and a sacrifice fly from Jurgella to take the lead.
Cody Mincey earned his ninth save by retiring the side in the bottom of the seventh. Tanner Wilt (1-1) earned the win, and Bums reliever John Michael Knighton (3-3) took the loss.
The Rascals (17-11) look for the series sweep over the Beach Bums (11-17) in the series finale tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm CT. Lucas Laster will start for the Rascals.