By JAMES COOK firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Ten-four is commonly followed by “Good buddy.”
Not Wednesday for Traverse City.
The Schaumburg Boomers racked up 16 hits and took advantage of several Traverse City Beach Bums miscues to take a 10-4 decision to even their series after TC won 10-2 Tuesday.
“They played better than we did,” Beach Bums manager Gregg Langbehn said. “You don’t deserve to win when you play like that. But we’re playing pretty doggone good this year and we’re allowed have a hiccup every now and then.
“We didn’t play as well we have. That’s all there is to it.”
Scott Dunn mowed down the Boomers Tuesday, but they were able to bring their bats alive Wednesday against TC’s Jake Sabol.
Traverse City’s three errors ties for the most in a game this season — and two of those led directly to four Schaumburg runs.
Aside from Alexi Colon’s solo homer in the fifth, each inning in which Schaumburg scored was aided by an error, a wild pitch or passed ball.
“We’ve got to take advantage of situations like that, because we’re going to have days like (Tuesday) where we’re not hitting the ball well,” Boomers manager Jamie Bennett said. “And when you get those opportunities, you’ve got to jump on them.
“We had some opportunities (Tuesday). We had the bases loaded with one out in a 4-2 game and didn’t get anything done. It’s still 4-2 and they get two runners on with two outs and hit a home run. Things like that can obviously change a game quick.”
“He left a few pitches up and they’re an aggressive-hitting team,” Langbehn said. “They swing early in the count, and you have to account for that. He’s fine. It’s just a matter of location, not stuff. It was just one of those nights where everything fell apart for us.”
Schaumburg hit Sabol hard, scoring seven runs off the hurler who came into the game with a tiny 1.68 ERA. Sabol gave up 10 hits in 5.2 innings.
And the Boomers looked poised to add more runs to the onslaught in the eighth when Craig Hertler belted a double off the top of the right-field wall. Both Hertler and Colon — who was on first — thought it was a homer and started trotting around the bases, even though base umpire Scott Walendowski clearly signaled the ball was in fair territory. Sean Gusrang’s throw was in time to catch Colon in a run-down for the inning’s first out, and Hertler was tagged out by Taylor Wrenn at second as he was off the bag arguing the call. Jason Mattila then coaxed Gerard Hall into a flyout to complete an inning of scoreless relief.
Hertler — who was tossed in Tuesday’s series opener for arguing balls and strikes, was almost ejected for the second time when he threw his helmet, walked over to it and appeared poised to pick it up and throw it again before a teammate emerged from the dugout to forcibly grab it before Hertler could heave it a second time.
“That was a crazy one,” Bennett said. “It’s one of those deals that doesn’t look good for anyone. It’s tough to see out there on those kind of things, but it was the right call. I think it hit the wall. We’ve just got to be a little more disciplined.”
Traverse City’s first run came in the fifth, when Gusrang and D’Marcus Ingram led off the inning with back-to-back doubles. No other Beach Bums batter reached second base until Chase Burch’s two-out single and Zach Kometani’s walk in the eighth before Carlo Testa’s second home run in a Traverse City uniform and first at home made it 7-4.
Schaumburg’s big inning was the four-run sixth, although it already led 3-0 already by then. The Boomers batted around in the inning, which started with a Steve McQuail strikeout and ended with a McQuail pop up. But in between, Schaumburg put together five hits a walk and a TC error to score four times.
Kometani and Burch each reached base three times, while Gusrang had a pair of hits. Matt Kuna (3-0) earned the win for Schaumburg with five innings of five-hit ball. TC lefty Ben Rawding made his professional debut with a scoreless inning.
The Boomers added three runs in the ninth to counter TC’s three in the eighth.
The series concludes today at Wuerfel Park with TC starter Johnny Omahen (2-3, 6.06) takes on the Boomers’ Chris Phelan (3-0, 1.89).
“Rubber games are always important,” Bennett said. “And this is a big one. This is always one of the toughest places to play in the league. For one, it’s always a good club. But the crowd gets into it and it’s a different environment for us playing on the turf.”