TRAVERSE CITY — Alan Oaks, Aaron Dudley and Johnny Omahen were teammates in the Miami Marlins organization.
On Friday, they faced off — and Omahen had one of his best outings of the year.
Omahen held Normal scoreless for seven innings Friday at Wuerfel Park and helped the Traverse City Beach Bums trim a game off Lake Erie’s East Division lead with a 1-0 victory.
Omahen has won three of his last four starts — and allowed one run or fewer in all three wins.
After starting the season 0-3 through five starts, he’s bounced back to get to .500 at 8-8, with a 3.17 earned-run average.
“I’ve had a better end of the year so far,” Omahen said. “At the beginning, I just put myself in those bad-luck situations where I was walking a lot of guys and putting guys on that I shouldn’t have. Now, I’m attacking hitters and trusting in my stuff — and it seems I’m getting better results. I’m pitching the way I should be.”
Friday was another example. He allowed three runners on in the first two innings, but those were erased by a pair of double plays, including one in the second in which he struck out Tyler Shover and Marcus Nidiffer threw out Dudley at second.
“At the beginning, I was kind of falling behind hitters — trying to press too much, trying to strike guys out instead of trusting my stuff,” Omahen said. “After the second inning got through with the big double play, I just really focused on my fastball and pitching off my fastball. Those guys really never proved they could hit it. So I was throwing my fastball and working on off-speed (pitches).”
The only offense the Beach Bums would produce came in the third inning.
“I’m fine with that,” Omahen said. “I love close games like that. It makes you focus a lot more, especially when you’ve got another guy dueling and you don’t want that guy to beat you.”