BEACH BUMS’ COMEBACK TO STUN FREEDOM

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The Traverse City Beach Bums(26-35) trailed early in an error-filled affair but came back in dramatic fashion, beating the Florence Freedom(26-35), 4-3, to take game one of this week’s three game series. 

The Beach Bums and Freedom each had chances in the first two innings but it took until the third before Florence got on the scoreboard. Andre Mercurio led off the inning with a single and later scored when Daniel Fraga reached on an error. Taylor Oldham then singled to drive in Fraga, and it was 2-0. Florence added to their advantage in the fourth on a Mercurio RBI double to left. 

The Beach Bums continued to get their chances but couldn't convert until the sixth. Marcos Derkes led off with a walk then moved to second on an errant pick-off throw. After Ryan Bottger was robbed of a hit by a sliding catch in the outfield, Steven Patterson grounded to short but the throw to first got away. Patterson made it to second while Derkes scored the first Bums run. Jose Vargas then rocketed a two-run homer off the scoreboard in left for his seventh of the season, and the game was tied at 3. 

After a scoreless seventh, Patterson, with one out, hit a high fly ball, down the left field line. While the left-fielder chased it, the ball kept on carrying and cleared the wall, for a solo homer, Patterson’s ninth of the year, and the Beach Bums had a 4-3 lead. In the top of the ninth, Taylor Oldham hit a fly ball down the right field line, toward the corner. Jeff DeBlieux chased it down and with a full dive, made the catch, potentially saving the game. 

Traverse City reliever, Luke Barker hurled the last two innings of perfect baseball, striking out three, for his first win of the season against three losses. Jordan Kraus gets stuck with the loss, going all eight defensive innings, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out four. He falls to 4-6 of the season. 

Tomorrow night, the Beach Bums once again take on the Florence Freedom, in game two of this three game series. Jeremy Gooding takes the mound for Florence while Dylan Stoops tries for the series win for the Beach Bums. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm and Tom Willms will have the Miller Lite Pre-Game Show at 6:45pm, on 101.9 The Bay.  

Coming up on Wednesday, July 27th, it’s Winning Wednesday. That means if the Beach Bums win, YOU win, a free ticket to an upcoming game. The gates open at 5pm. 

The Beach Bums Box Office & Gift Shop are now open with non-gameday hours of 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm on Saturday. Wuerfel Park is closed on non-gameday Sundays. Stadium hours are extended on gamedays. 

For more information, please to call the offices at 1-231-943-0100 or come on out to the park and say hello!

Emily Long photograph.

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