NORMAL, IL – Although, the Traverse City Beach Bums(0-1) out hit the Normal Cornbelters(1-0), it was the Cornbelters who picked up the win by a final score of 11-6. 

Both offenses got their seasons started quickly with each team tallying first inning runs. With two outs in the top of the frame, two-time All-Star Will Kengor blasted a solo home run through the driving winds, giving the Bums an early lead. Normal responded with an RBI double by Chris Iriart. Then, in the second, Justin Fletcher bopped a triple to right, and then scored on an error to give the Cornbelters the lead. Iriart added another RBI double in the third, along with RBI singles by Andrew Godbold and Derrick Loveless, extending the Bums’ deficit to 5-1. 

Alexis Rivera led off the top of the fourth with a double for his second hit of the game, and then scored three batters later when Stephen Lohr singled him home. The Beach Bums continued to chip away at the Normal lead in the fifth when Donald Glover Jr. reached second on an error and scored on Kengor’s RBI double to right, pulling the within two. The Cornbelters once again pulled away in the bottom of the inning, putting up four runs. Iriart hit his third RBI double then scored on Loveless’ two-run homer, with Tanner Lubach later scoring on an error to make it a 9-3 game. 

Lubach added another run in the seventh with a solo home run that cleared the right field wall. Then, Fletcher was hit by a pitch and scored on a wild pitch, giving the Beach Bums an eight run mountain to climb. In the top of the eighth, Kendall Patrick led off with a single to center then moved to second on Lohr’s single. Jason Heinrich reached on a fielder’s choice, with Patrick moving to third, setting up Glover Jr. To drive Kendall home with a double. Kenny Peoples-Walls followed with a double of his own, driving in two runs, but that’s where the comeback ended. 

Scott Sebald went six innings to earn the opening day win for the Cornbelters. He allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings while striking out two. Reinaldo Lopez got the call for the Beach Bums but suffered the loss after giving up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. 

The Beach Bums and Cornbelters will play game two of this three game opening weekend series tomorrow night with an 8:05pm first pitch. Leftie John Havird takes the hill for the Beach Bums and Matt Portland starts for Normal. Tom Willms will get the night started with the Budweiser pre-game show at 7:45pm, exclusively on (link says LISTEN TO THE GAMES LIVE).

The Beach Bums' home opener is Wednesday, May 23rd.   Fans will be able to get double the bang for their  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 or call the office at (231) 943-0100.

Photograph: Hometown fans support their team in a Beach Bums file photo.