Traverse City sweeps DH from Wild Things

August 10, 2014

Jovan Rosa might have had better days on the baseball field, but he couldn’t remember when.

The former Washington Wild Things player, traded in the offseason to Traverse City for pitcher Scott Dunn, had a multi-home run game in the opener, then had two crucial hits in the second game as the Beach Bums swept a doubleheader Sunday in front of 2,003 fans at Consol Energy Park.

The Beach Bums battered three Washington pitchers for 14 hits in a 13-8 slugfest in Game 1, then outdid that feat by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning against closer Jonathan Kountis for a 6-4 victory in Game 2.

The Wild Things fell to 46-29 and saw their lead in the Frontier League’s East Division sliced to one-half game as the Evansville Otters and Southern Illinois Miners each lost yesterday.

Losing a doubleheader in such fashion was not the best way to embark on a six-game road trip, which begins Tuesday night in Windy City.

“It will hurt tonight, but we’ll forget about it,” said Wild Things manager Bob Bozzuto. “Today wasn’t our day, but I expect us to bounce back.”

Rosa went 3-for-3 and drove in a franchise-record six runs in the first game, then followed it with a 2-for-3 night that included a key run-scoring triple in the seventh inning of the second game.

“It felt good but I don’t look at it that way,” said Rosa, when asked if it felt more satisfying coming against his former team. “I do love hitting here because it’s a hitter’s ballpark.”

The Beach Bums trailed 4-1 heading into the sixth but touched up reliever Al Yevoli for a run when right fielder Sean Gusrang smacked his second double of the game to score Rosa, who also had doubled.

Bozzuto brought in Kountis, who leads the league with 26 saves, and he got the final two outs.

But second baseman Rob Benedict led off the seventh with a triple and scored on a grounder to make it 4-3. First baseman Yaz Arbelo singled to right and was pinch-run for by Jeff Deblieux. Rosa then tripled into the gap in right field to score Deblieux and tie the game.

Third baseman Kevin Taylor singled in Rosa to make it 5-4 and came around to score on an error.

“When we swing the bats, we can beat anybody,” said Traverse City manager Dan Rohn. “It might be the first or second time we’ve rallied like that, but I can’t remember it being four runs. We beat their two best guys in Yevoli and Kountis, and we put some good bats together.”

In the opener, right-handed starter A.J. Holland not only lost the game by giving up six runs in three innings, he was released by the team in between games of the doubleheader.

The Wild Things signed former Shippensburg University standout Pat Kregeloh, who graduated in May. Kregeloh (6-3, 215) pitched and played the outfield at Shippensburg.

Washington trailed 13-2 in the sixth inning before mounting a comeback. The Wild Things scored six times in the bottom of the inning to pull within five.

Center fielder Daniel Poma was hit by a pitch, but was pulled from the game and didn’t play the nightcap. Bozzuto said Poma suffered a slight muscle pull during batting practice and his removal was a precautionary measure.

Maxx Garrett hit a pinch-hit three-run home run and catcher Cole Martin a three-run double to account for the Wild Things’ six runs.

Arbelo hit his 16th home run of the season in the first inning to give Traverse City an early 2-0 lead.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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