8/5/2012 - TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Jeff Flagg led a 16-hit attack with a pair of homeruns while Jose Vargas and Chase Burch both drove in three runs as the Beach Bums won the final game of their series with the Southern Illinois Miners 10-3. Jeff Flagg heads toward home in a Pete Walters photo.
The win gives Traverse City a three game lead in the East Division with 24 games remaining on the schedule.
The Beach Bums got the offense started right from the word go. In the first, Brian Heere singled in front of Jose Vargas who stepped in and clocked his 25th homer of the season to left-centerfield for a 2-0 TC lead. Two batters later, Jeff Flagg knocked an opposite field shot out to right, his 15th homer of the year, putting the Beach Bums up 3-0.
That was only the beginning for Traverse City who saw Sean Gusrang and Marcus Nidiffer lead off the second with consecutive singles. Two batters later, Ryan Still singled to score Gusrang for a 4-0 lead. After a walk to Heere loaded the bases, Vargas hit a sac fly to center to bring home Nidiffer. Chase Burch capped the scoring in the frame when he drove a double over the head of centerfielder Alvaro Ramirez to send Still and Heere to the plate, pushing the lead to 7-0.
The game stayed that way until the sixth when the Beach Bums pounced again as the first five batters of the inning reached for TC, highlighted by Flagg’s second long ball of the game to put Traverse City up 10-0. Southern Illinois would plate three runs in the seventh to create the final.
On the mound, Jacob Clem was strong, allowing the Miners just one hit and three baserunners through six innings. In the end Clem (5-4) went 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs. Matt Miller came on and set down all eight Southern Illinois hitters he faced to finish out the contest. Brian Fowler (5-7) allowed nine hits and seven runs in just 2.2 innings to absorb the loss.
Offensively for the Beach Bums, Burch and Kyle Colligan each had three hits while Heere, Vargas, Flagg and Gusrang each had two. Vargas, Flagg and Burch each drove in three runs.
The Beach Bums now have Monday as a travel day when they will head down to Evansville, IN for a three game set against the Otters beginning on Tuesday. Kurt Wunderlich (1-0, 1.29) will start the series opener for Traverse City against Matt Zielinski (6-5, 4.28) for Evansville. Coverage on Sunny Country 101.9 will begin with the Beach Bums Pregame Show at 7:15 p.m. outside of a scheduled 7:35 p.m. first pitch.