TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Beach Bums could not complete the sweep.
Lake Erie scored a run in the first inning and never trailed in beating the Beach Bums 5-2 at Wuerfel Park on Thursday night.
Traverse City had won the first two games in the three-game set.
Kevin Berard led the Crushers with a four-hit night. He singled in the first, third, sixth, and eighth innings. He was also hit by a pitch. Berard scored a run and drove in another.
Dave Middendorf took a shutout into the ninth when the Beach Bums pushed across two runs on a Marcus Nidiffer single. The inning started with some promise as the Beach Bums loaded the bases with nobody out on walks to Ryan Still and D’Marcus Ingram and a single by Taylor Wrenn. A double play stemmed the rally, but Nidiffer's single cut the lead to 5-2. Dale Dickerson came on in relief and retired Sean Gusrang on a fly out to end the game. It was Dickerson's first save of the season.
Middendorf (2-1) allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out 10. Two of the four hits Middendorf surrendered came in the ninth.
The single by Wrenn extended his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest streak in the Frontier League this season.
Michael Devine (0-1) suffered the loss. He lasted just five innings, allowing all five runs.
The Crushers, who finished with 12 hits, scored solo runs in the first and third innings and then added three in the sixth, two on a Juan Sanchez single. That hit ended Devine's night. Scott Mueller, Matt Miller and Nick Capito pitched the last 3.2 innings.
The loss dropped the Beach Bums to 10-8.
Traverse City hosts the Frontier Greys in a three-game series, starting tonight. Jacob Clem (2-2, 5.79 ERA) will get the call for Traverse City. He'll be opposed by Eric Wooten (3-1, 2.92 ERA).