TRAVERSE CITY — Missed opportunities.
The Traverse City Beach Bums could not convert on three excellent scoring chances Saturday night in dropping a 1-0 decision to Lake Erie in the first of two Frontier League games at Wuerfel Park.
Lake Erie scored two runs in the sixth to rally for a 2-1 win in the nightcap. The Beach Bums (12-20) are now 1-12 in one-run outings.
Lake Erie (17-15) pushed across a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Andrew Davis for the lone run in the opener. That was only the third hit allowed by Beach Bums starter Alex Phillips, who needed just 67 pitches to retire the Crushers through six innings.
It was Traverse City’s second 1-0, seven-inning loss in three games.
Traverse City made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Kevin Taylor and George Barber singled to put runners on second and third — Taylor, running aggressively, beat the throw to third, allowing Barber to take second.
With the infield drawn in, Casey Roche hit a chopper to short. The throw went to the plate, forcing Taylor to retreat to third — except Barber was already standing on the bag. Barber was ruled out. Pinch hitter Drew Rossi then just missed a potential game-winning hit by inches, when his shot down the first base line was ruled foul. Rossi eventually took a called third strike to end the game.
The Beach Bums also threatened in the fourth with runners on the corners when Taylor hit a hard shot to third that Anderson Hidalgo turned into a
double play. In the sixth, Rob Benedict drew a one-out walk, took second on a passed ball and third on wild pitch, but was stranded.
Phillips, who fell to 0-2, was superb through six innings. In the seventh, he hit leadoff batter Craig Hertler on a 2-2 pitch — and that led to his undoingl. Hertler advanced to second on wild pitch and then scored on an opposite field single by Davis.