TRAVERSE CITY — By the eighth inning the tank was on empty.
But before he ran out of steam Rusty Shellhorn had done all he needed to do to get the Beach Bums a victory over Windy City on Sunday at Wuerfel Park.
Shellhorn's performance in 7.2 innings of work included six hits, two walks and one run allowed, and five strikeouts. Just as impressive was the fact that he did it throwing just 92 pitches as the Bums completed a three-game sweep over the Thunderbolts with a 6-1 win. It was just the second series sweep of the year for Traverse City and its three-game winning streak matches the second longest positive streak of the season.
"I felt good. I was hitting my spots, going inside a lot with my fastball and that really helped," said Shellhorn, who improved his record to 3-0 with the season-long outing. "I think I only threw a few fastballs away all day. Just mixing up my speeds. My change up was there today. CC (catcher Chris Cowell) did a great job back there calling pitches and we had some great defense behind us."
Shellhorn gave up one hit in each of the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but that was the extent of the damage in any of those innings. One of his two walks came in the eighth and he allowed two hits in that inning, allowing the Thunderbolts to score their only run of the game. Will Rankin came out of the bullpen to get the last out of the eighth and D.J. Johnson worked a perfect ninth.
"Rusty did a good job today for us," said Cowell. "I thought in the seventh — he had hardly walked anyone all day — he walked one guy in that inning. We were trying to stretch him all the way out and get him the complete game, but I think the eighth inning he was a little fatigued. But still, he gave us an outstanding start today."