GRAFTON, Wis. — The Traverse City Pit Spitters built a big lead through the middle innings of Wednesday’s battle with the Lakeshore Chinooks and held on for a 9-7 victory at Kapco Park.
Traverse City (49-19) built an 8-0 lead scoring one run in the second inning, two in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth during a string of big innings that wore down Chinooks starting pitcher Troy Black (4.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K).
The result, however, turned out to be anything but an easy victory.
Lakeshore (32-36) cut the Pit Spitters’ big lead to one run in the bottom of the seventh inning after three consecutive innings of run scoring of its own, including four in the seventh.
The Chinooks did all their run producing on four extra-base hits — a two-run home run by Cole Barr in the fifth inning, an RBI double by Trent Bauer in the sixth and a two-RBI double by Griffin Doersching and a two-RBI triple by Nathan Aide in the seventh.
Traverse City’s early run production came in a multitude of ways.
Ryan Hampe singled in a run in the second, Jake Wilson tripled in a run and later scored on an error in the third and Hudson Byorick scored on an error in the fourth, while Wilson doubled in a pair of runs. Daniel Head added a two-run home run in the fifth.
Michael Slaten added a little cushion for the Pit Spitters with a solo home run in the eighth inning.
Conrad Voss earned no decision in the start for Traverse City, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings of work.
Traverse City’s typically lock-down bullpen struggled and let a win for Voss slip through its grasp before securing the win.
Austin Shea gave up a run on two hits in the sixth inning, and Garett Simmons allowed four runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning in the seventh frame.
Luke Little got the bullpen back on track by striking out the only batter he faced, and Joe Pace earned a six-out save, while striking out four, for his sixth of the season.
Doersching led the Chinooks’ bats by going 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBI.
Wilson paced the Pit Spitters’ offense with a 3-for-5 performance, two runs scored and three driven home. Slaten and Byorick each went 2 for 5. Eight of Traverse City’s nine hitters had at least one hit.
The Pit Spitters will host Rockford on Thursday with undefeated Andrew Hoffmann (8-0) on the mound for TC.