6/8/2012 - TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums became the first team in the 20-year history of the Frontier League to have every player in the starting lineup score at least one run scored and drive in at least one run as the Beach Bums pounded the Evansville Otters 18-4. Jose Vargas connects, photo by Pete Walters.
The 18 runs were also the most runs scored in a game in Wuerfel Park’s seven season history and are the third highest total in Traverse City club history. The 18 hits the Beach Bums smacked were the second highest total in team history. The team record for runs in a game came five years ago to the day on June 8, 2007 in a 20-6 win at Kalamazoo.
Early on things didn’t seem like an offensive barrage was on the docket as Evansville plated the first two runs of the game in the top of the first on an RBI single from Frank Martinez and a sac fly by Nick Schwaner to go up 2-0. Traverse City would get a run in the second on a Sean Gusrang single to make it 2-1.
The game would remain that way until the fourth when the Beach Bums started the offensive juggernaut for the night rolling. After Chase Burch and Jeff Flagg reached on a single and an error, Jose Vargas singled to score Burch and tie the game at 2-2. Marcus Nidiffer walked to load the bases before Gusrang was hit by a pitch to give TC a 3-2 lead. Two batters later with the bases still loaded, Brian Heere delivered ground rule double to score Vargas and Nidiffer and push the Traverse City edge to 5-2.
Evansville scored a run in the sixth to pull within 5-3, but the Beach Bums broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the frame, keyed by a Vargas two-run triple to cap the scoring in the frame and put TC up 10-3.
Apparently, the four-run fourth and five-run sixth innings were just the appetizers in the Beach Bums offense, however. Traverse City unloaded in the seventh, plating eight runs while sending 13 batters to the plate. Among the highlights in the inning were a two-run double by Nidiffer and an RBI infield single by Kyle Eveland, which gave all nine starters RBI in the contest.
David Deminsky (2-1) was the recipient of the offense, but also recorded his best start of the year, going 5.2 innings allowing three runs while striking out three. Bryce Morrow (2-2) took the loss for Evansville.
With all the offense to go around, Burch, Flagg and Vargas each stood out with three hits while Gusrang reached base all six times he came to the plate with a hit, three walks and twice being hit by a pitch.
The middle game of the series comes up on Saturday as Cory Baker will make his professional debut for the Beach Bums against Mike Zielinski (2-1, 3.63) for the Otters. It is School Pride Night at Wuerfel Park where fans who wear their high school or college gear and homeschool sports spirit wear and get half off the price of their chairback seat. For tickets call 943-0100 or log on to tcbeachbums.com
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