From staff reports
---- — JOLIET, Ill. — Trailing 6-0 early, the Traverse City Beach Bums staged a massive rally that was capped off by back-to-back ninth-inning home runs to finish off Joliet 8-7 Wednesday in a Frontier League day game.
Chase Burch and Jeff Flagg smacked consecutive solo homers off reliever Amalio Diaz.
Scott Mueller came on for the bottom of the ninth and pitched a near-perfect inning, allowing only a leadoff single to former Beach Bum player Kyle Maunus before retiring the next three batters in order.
Matt Howard had tied the game at six in the top of the eighth before the Slammers went back up with a run in the bottom of the frame on a Burch error.
Joliet hammered starter David Deminsky for six runs in 3 2/3 innings on eight hits to lead 6-0 after four innings. But a line of five different Beach Bums relievers — Jason Mattila, Jacob Clem, Sam Brown, Nick Capito and Mueller — came on to throw 5 1/3 scoreless frames.
Jose Vargas got Traverse City on the board with a three-run homer in the fifth.
Vargas and Flagg are tied atop the league's early leaders in home runs with three each, and Vargas and Kyle Colligan — who doubled in two runs in the seventh — lead the Frontier League with eight RBIs each.
Catcher Chris Kay had three hits — including a pair of doubles — and Burch had two hits.
The teams wrap up their series today with Bennett Whitmore (0-0, 1.59) pitching for the Bums against Steven Maxwell (0-1, 8.31) for Joliet.
The Beach Bums are 4-1 this season and in first place in the East Division.