Beach Bums fall 6-1 at home to Normal

 TRAVERSE CITY, MI  – The Traverse City Beach Bums jumped out to an early lead but saw the Normal CornBelters come from behind to score the final six runs of the ballgame, taking the opener of a three-game series 6-1 at Wuerfel Park on Friday night.

Traverse City’s lone tally came in a first inning rally with Jovan Rosa driving home Greg Harisis to give the Beach Bums an early 1-0 lead. TC would load the bases with two outs in the inning, but Normal starter Matt Packer got out of the jam with a groundout. Packer (1-0) held the Beach Bums in check the rest of the way, getting through seven innings with only the one run against and four strikeouts.

Ian MacDougall started for Traverse City and recorded his best start of the season. The southpaw didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning when he ceded a leadoff double and then a sacrifice fly to Sam Judah, knotting the game at one. In the seventh, Ozney Guillen smashed a solo shot off MacDougall to make it 2-1.

After a two-out single in the seventh, MacDougall (2-3) was lifted for Will Rankin. The first batter Rankin faced reached on an error before a walk loaded the bases. Mike Schwartz then singled to right field to bring home two runs before the ball got past Sean Gusrang to score another, making it 5-1 Normal. 

Despite the loss, MacDougall posted a quality start by allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6.2 innings with four strikeouts.

Patrick McKenna led off the ninth inning with a solo homer for Normal to give the CornBelters the eventual 6-1 victory.

Traverse City will look to bounce back on Saturday night at 7:05 against Normal. Rusty Shellhorn (3-0, 3.28) will start for the Beach Bums against the CornBelters’ Bobby Shore (3-2, 4.67). Team USA Hockey legend Mike Eruizone will be on hand to sign autographs, throw out a first pitch and participate in on-field activities throughout the night.