TRAVERSE CITY, MI – The ThunderBolts came from three runs behind to tie the Beach Bums in the ninth, but lost in the eleventh 5-4 on a Brian Heere walk-off home run.
The Bums scored three runs in the first inning thanks to a two-run double hit by Jeff Flagg. Chase Burch, who had been hit by a pitch, later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.
They added a run in the second when Kyle Eveland was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a Ryan Still sacrifice fly.
The Traverse City bats went silent after that as Blayne Weller did not allow another hit in his six innings of work.
Chad Cregar hit a solo homer for Windy City in the top of the fourth, providing their only run and their only hit into the seventh inning.
It wasn’t until the ninth that the Bolts developed a serious offensive threat. Mike Torres led off with a single and with one out, Cregar was hit by a pitch, chasing Jacob Clem from the game. Against closer Scott Mueller, Bob Glover walked and Ryan Cuneo singled home Torres. Brandon Decker’s two-out, two-run hit off Nick Capito tied the score at four, sending it to extra innings.
The ThunderBolts couldn’t get a baserunner in the tenth or eleventh and the score remained 4-4 into the bottom of the eleventh inning. After leaving the winning run at third in the tenth, the Beach Bums wasted little time in the next inning as Heere homered to win the game for the Bums.
Matt Miller (4-3) pitched 2.1 perfect innings for the win while Willy Kesler (0-1) allowed the homer for the loss.
The Bolts’ series in Traverse City continues with the Beach Bums on Wednesday night. Game two will feature Tyson Corley (2-6, 3.56) for Windy City going against Traverse City’s Bennett Whitmore (5-3, 4.20). The ballgame is slated to begin at 6:05 CDT at Wuerfel Park and can be heard on sportsjuice.com.