From Staff Reports
ROCKFORD, Ill. — That was a long night.
After two rain delays, the first lasting two hours, Rockford defeated the Traverse City Beach Bums 9-3 in a Frontier League game Sunday night that took nearly five hours to complete.
Fortunately for the Beach Bums, they are off today before opening a homestand with Washington on Tuesday.
Rockford righthander Robert Zimmerman carried a no-hitter into the seventh as the Aviators built an 8-0 lead. Scott Woodward broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff double. After Jovan Rosa walked, Zimmerman uncorked two wild pitches with Yazy Arbelo at the plate, allowing Woodward to score. Arbelo walked and that was it for Zimmerman.
Josh Smoker came on in relief, but not before a second rain delay. When play resumed, Smoker got George Barber to hit into a double play before surrendering an RBI single to Sean Gusrang and an RBI double to Chris Cowell.
The Aviators struck quickly in this game, scoring six runs in the first two innings — all after two were out.
Four of those runs came in the first inning on a two-run single by Cohl Walla and a two-run double by Kyle Dhanani. Beach Bums starter Pat Merkling had control issues, walking two batters and hitting another. Traverse City also committed an error in the frame.
Another hit batter set up an RBI double by Jose Martinez in the second — and that’s when the first rain delay came. After a two-hour break, Ian MacDougall replaced Merkling and surrendered an RBI single to Ken Bryant.
In the fifth, Bryant led off with a double and eventually scored on Walla’s sacrifice fly. An inning later, Bryant singled in Rockford’s eighth run. Walla doubled in the final run in the eighth.
Rockford took the final two games in the three-game series after rallying for a 7-6 win in 10 innings late Saturday night. Jeff Kremer’s sacrifice fly scored Ryan Breen with the winning run.
Traverse City led 6-4 in the seventh after Rosa belted a three-run homer, but the Aviators tied it with two in the eighth.
The Beach Bums finished with 11 hits, three by Shaun Cooper. Scott Woodward and Drew Rossi added two hits.
Cooper led off the 10th with a double, then was cut down at the plate on Drew Rossi’s slow roller to second.
Nate O’Bryan (1-1) suffered the loss in relief.