Traverse City Blanks Normal 4-0
TRAVERSE CITY, MI - The Traverse City Beach Bums scored all of their runs in their first two at-bats and got a great pitching performance in a 4-0 shutout victory of the Normal CornBelters on Sunday evening at Wuerfel Park. The win clinched the series for Traverse City and marked the first time any opponent had held Normal scoreless this year. Sean Gusrang heads toward home, and a handshake from manager Dan Rohn, after hitting a two-run homerun.
Traverse City’s offense exploded early against Normal’s All-Star starter Cullen Babin. Rob Benedict led off the last of the first with a solid single and was followed by Sean Gusrang, who blasted a two-run homer, his first of the year, to put TC up 2-0 two batters in. Yazy Arbelo continued the rally with a ground-rule double and scored two pitches later on a Jovan Rosa two-base hit to make it 3-0.
In the second, the Beach Bums loaded the bases with one out and scored another run on a Rosa RBI single to open up a 4-0 lead. Babin (5-3) worked out of the jam and got through four innings, but the damage was done as he gave up four runs on eight this to take the loss.
Benedict, Arbelo, and Rosa all ended up with multi-hit games with Rosa driving in a pair to up his season total to 23. He has now hit safely in five consecutive contests.
Meanwhile, Alex Phillips posted his best start in a Traverse City uniform, picking up his first win the process. Phillips (1-5) had multiple runners on against him in just two of his six frames, but pitched out of every bit of trouble the CornBelters provided. The southpaw scattered six hits in his outing, striking out three with a walk.
Cameron Giannini and All-Star D.J. Johnson kept the CornBelters off the board with three scoreless frames out of the bullpen. The shutout was the fourth authored by the Traverse City pitching staff this season.
The Beach Bums are now off until Friday for the Frontier League All-Star Break, but will return to action with a three-game set against the Gateway Grizzlies at Wuerfel Park. First pitch on Friday is set for 7:05 p.m. and the newly crowned Miss Michigan will be in at the park. Fans will have the opportunity to meet her prior to the game in addition to her taking part in on-field activities throughout the night. Those unable to make the game can listen to the broadcast starting at 6:45 p.m. on Classic Rock the Bear 98.1/107.1 and classicrockthebear.com.