TRAVERSE CITY — If it were up to Traverse City Beach Bums manager Gregg Langbehn, his team would still be fighting for a Frontier League championship.
But even after a Divisional Series loss to Lake Erie, Langbehn was happy with the way his team performed this year.
“I thought it was another great success,” said Langbehn, who just completed his fifth season on Traverse City’s bench. “I thought we played very well. We were consistent. We weathered the losing streak in the middle of August because we had played so well up until that point. It afforded us the luxury of having a streak where we didn’t play as well. Overall, I was pleased. Just fell a little bit short.”
Traverse City ended the regular season 55-41, just one game out of first place in the East Division. The Beach Bums held the division lead for a good portion of the summer, but struggled in the month of August. They played .500 ball in that month (14-14), brought down by a six-game losing streak.
Still, it took two wins from Lake Erie in the final three-game set of the regular season to determine the division crown. Then, the two teams matched up again in the first-round of the postseason. Holding a 2-1 series lead, Traverse City had leads in each of the final two games of the series but couldn’t finish off the Crushers and were eliminated.
“It was a great series with Lake Erie,” said Langbehn. “We had the lead late in the last two games and we just couldn’t finish. That’s all there is to it.”
Traverse City was seven outs away from advancing to the league’s championship series when it lost a 3-1 Game 4 lead in a 13-3 loss. Similarly, the Beach Bums were ahead 4-2 in Game 5, but couldn’t maintain it after three rain delays put the game on hold — a contest that wasn’t completed until the early-morning hours — in a 5-4 loss.