Homeruns Power Bums Win
FLORENCE, KY— Traverse City Beach Bums second baseman Hector Bernal launched a three-run home run and all-star left fielder J.T. Hall homered twice as they beat the Florence Freedom in front of 1,394 fans by a score of 6-3.
The win allows the Beach Bums to hold a winning record at 25-23 to end of the first half of the 2011 season, the most games the club has been over .500 so far this season.
The Beach Bums struck first in the opening inning when Hall hit a line drive to left field, clearing the wall and giving the left fielder his fourteenth home run of the season, giving the Beach Bums a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Beach Bums shortstop Tom Zebroski lined a RBI-single to left field, scoring third baseman Jose Vargas and gave Traverse City a 2-0 lead. On the very next pitch, Bernal hit a towering three-run home run to right field to extend the Beach Bums lead to 5-0.
An inning later, Hall came up and blasted his second home run of the ballgame to right-center field, his fifteenth home run of the year to give the Beach Bums a 6-0 lead. The home run tied Hall at the end of the first half of the season with Steven Alexander of the Normal Cornbelters for the Frontier League lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Freedom first baseman Drew Rundle cut the Beach Bums lead in half with his sixth home run of the season, a three-run shot off Traverse City starter Don Pugliese to bring the score to 6-3 in favor of Traverse City.
The Beach Bums bullpen pitched well in the late innings once again, as relievers Bryce Morrow, Nolan Shaffer, and Scott Reid combined for three scoreless innings, pitching in-and-out of Florence Freedom scoring opportunities before Scott Mueller came on to pitch a scoreless ninth to earn his eleventh save of the season and end the ballgame.
Morrow (1-0) was credited with his first win of 2011 for pitching a scoreless inning in relief of Pugliese. Freedom starting Pitcher Tim Holmes (2-5) pitched five innings and allowed all three Beach Bums home runs in suffering his fifth loss of the season. Florence falls to 23-24 with the loss. Hall and Zebroski each had two hits to lead the Beach Bums in the contest.
The Beach Bums head home to open up a six game home stand beginning with a three-game series against the Windy City Thunderbolts on FANtastic Fireworks Friday at 7:05 p.m. If you can't make it to Wuerfel Park to join the fun in person -- or if you are in attendance bring your radio and catch the Budweiser Pregame Show starting at 6:45 p.m. on Sunny Country 101.9 FM and streaming online through tcbeachbums.com.