5/17/2012 - FLORENCE, KY – The Traverse City Beach Bums broke open a tie ballgame by batting around in the seventh and sent eight men to the plate in the eighth in order to come away with an 8-1, opening night win over the Florence Freedom. Chase Burch pictured in a Pete Walters file photo
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning when Jose Vargas led off with a rocket off the glove of Florence third baseman Chris Curley for a single. Chase Burch was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Two batters and a pitching change later, Sean Gusrang ripped a double down the rightfield line off Brandon Mathes to score Vargas and take a 2-1 lead. After a walk to Marcus Nidiffer, Jon Hurst also drew a free pass. On ball four to Hurst, the pitch sailed past the Florence catcher, scoring Burch for a 3-1 TC advantage. With the bases loaded two batters later, Brian Heere walked to force home Gusrang and make it 4-1.
The Beach Bums would pile on four more runs in the eighth thanks to a Burch homerun and a bases loaded walk by Hurst along with a sac fly by Kyle Eveland and a Heere RBI single.
Pitching dominated the game for the Beach Bums as well as starter Reid Kelly (1-0) went six innings allowing just two hits and one run, striking out five. Scott Dunn struck out a pair over two scoreless innings and Scott Mueller tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out two.
The two teams got their respective runs heading into the seventh on a solo homer from each of their catchers. Nidiffer got the first Beach Bums hit of the season in the third by cranking a homer to left. Florence’ Jim Jacquot returned the favor in the fifth.
Game two against the Freedom comes up on Friday with David Deminsky going to the hill for Traverse City against Kevin Asselin for the Freedom. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:05 pm with the pregame show on Sunny Country 101.9 beginning at 6:45.
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