TRAVERSE CITY — Not long after the temperature dipped and a steady rain began to fall, Sunday’s Frontier League showdown with Florence got away from the Traverse City Beach Bums.
It’s also about the time that Florence third baseman Jacob Tanis began to heat up.
Tanis slugged two home runs, had six RBIs and scored three times, spearheading a burst of nine runs over the final four innings as the Freedom took down Traverse City 10-4 at Wuerfel Park in the first of three games between the top two teams in the East Division.
“It was a nice team effort. We had a lot of guys on base today. We had a lot of big hits and great pitching,” said Tanis. “The two top teams in the league going at it. We really came together offensively and defensively, so it was a great team win for all of us.”
The Beach Bums were leading 2-1 when things went south, starting with an infield single by Alijay Davis and followed two batters later by Tanis’ first homer — a two-run blast with two outs that put Florence ahead for the first time.
Traverse City went back in front in the bottom of the sixth as Chase Burch and Carlo Testa slugged back-to-back solo shots, but that lead lasted only until the top of the seventh when Byron Wiley led off the inning with a solo homer of his own that tied the game 4-4 and got Traverse City starter Scott Dunn pulled from the game. Dunn, who entered the contest with an 11-0 record, was looking to set the franchise record for career wins but ended up with his second no-decision of the season. In six innings Dunn allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four.
Matt Miller (0-2) came on for Dunn and ended up getting tagged with the loss when he hit Junior Arroyo with a pitch to start the eighth inning and Arroyo scored the go-ahead run on Jeremy Hamilton’s RBI single. The Freedom plated five more insurance runs off Beach Bums reliever Burny Mitchem in the ninth, four coming on Tanis’ two-out grand slam. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and set the table for Tanis to add to his team-leading 47 RBIs — good for third in the Frontier League.