Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 10, 2013

Beach Bums snap 3-game losing streak

BY DENNIS CHASE
dchase@record-eagle.com

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Need to stop a losing streak? Scott Dunn's the guy.

The right-hander allowed just one run on eight hits in 6.2 innings of work Sunday evening as the Traverse City Beach Bums snapped a three-game losing streak with a much-needed 3-1 win over the Frontier Greys at Wuerfel Park.

Earlier this season, Dunn stopped a pair of two-game slides for the Bums.

"Streaks happen," Dunn said. "You just have to try to be on top more than on the bottom. I just wanted to throw strikes and get things done to support my team."

The Greys put runners on base in all seven innings that Dunn pitched. But the only run the Greys could plate came in the first on a bloop double to right-center by Blake Bergeron.

"The only reason it (ball) drops is because the wind is blowing out and we're forced to play a little deeper in this park," Beach Bums manager Gregg Langbehn said. "He couldn't have placed it any better. Nonetheless, (Dunn) pitched an awesome game. He's off to a fantastic start."

With the win, Dunn improved to 4-0. Nick Capito pitched the final 2.1 innings to earn his first save.

The Beach Bums needed a strong outing from Dunn because of a struggling offense. During that three-game skid, Traverse City hit .143 in scoring just six runs. Injuries have hampered the team. Third baseman Jose Vargas returned to the lineup Saturday, but Andrew Cohn and Scott Woodward are still out. Vargas, Cohn and Woodward are all hitting over .300.

"That's just the spot we're in right now offensively," Langbehn said. "I'm not going to try and hide it. We're not at 100 percent. We're not using that as an excuse, though. We're just in that position right now. There are opportunities now for other guys. This is their chance. We expect those guys to step up, contribute perform and win."

Zach Kometani, subbing for Chase Burch at first, was one who stepped up Sunday. He had three hits. Catcher Marcus Nidiffer, shortstop Taylor Wrenn and outfielder Jeremy Banks added two hits. Nidiffer's double in the fifth drove in the winning run. In addition, the catcher threw out two base runners. Kevin Wagar, recently signed due to the spate of injuries, had his first professional hit and it knocked in Nidiffer with Traverse City's first run in the fourth. Nidiffer had singled and moved to second on a Kometani single. Wagar's hit came with two outs.

Traverse City's two runs in the fifth also came with two outs. Vargas singled, Niddifer followed with an RBI double and then Wrenn extended his hitting streak to 14 with an RBI single to right.

Kometani continued the onslaught against Greys starter Joe Zeller with a hard hit ground rule double to left. Wrenn was running on the pitch and would have scored easily, but was sent back to third.

That's all the support Dunn — and Capito — needed.

"He continues to throw well," Langbehn said of Dunn. "That's how he's been all year. He gives us quality innings and keeps us in position to win."

Dunn seemed to get stronger as the game went on.

"It seemed like I zoned in, got tunnel vision," Dunn said. "That was pretty sweet."

Langbehn was not surprised.

"He had some stressful innings, but he worked through it and made quality pitches," he said. "He's not afraid. That's what separates him from a lot of pitchers in this league. He's determined. That's his mentality."

Traverse City now hits the road, opening a three-game series in Florence on Tuesday. Jake Sabol (4-0, 0.30) will get the call for the Beach Bums. He'll be opposed by Dan Jensen (2-1, 4.08).