The Washington Wild Things, edged out the Traverse City Beach Bums on Thursday, June 26 at CONSOL Energy Park, taking the game and series by a final score of 5-2. Right-handed starter Shawn Blackwell (4-0) tossed six innings of the contest en route to his fourth win on the season.Although Washington came out on top, it was Traverse City that lit up the scoreboard first. Their only run-scoring performance came in the top of the fourth inning when third baseman Kevin Taylor knocked an RBI double that plated first baseman Yazy Arbelo. A single by left fielder Jeff DeBlieux later in the inning brought across Taylor to make it a 2-0 ball game.
The Wild Things answered in the bottom of the fifth when Stewart Ijames belted a solo home run, his third of the series and 11th on the season, to put Washington within one run. Ijames’ dinger also set him atop the Frontier League in home runs.
The momentum flipped in favor of the Wild Things in the bottom of the sixth when catcher Maxx Garrett mirrored Ijames with a solo shot of his own to tie the game. Center fielder Daniel Poma put Washington ahead by one later in the inning when he used his speed and quick thinking to steal home.
Washington got a little help from the Traverse City defense in the bottom of the seventh inning when relief pitcher Clayton Ruch walked Garrett and second baseman Sam Montgomery consecutively with the bases loaded to give the Wild Things two easy runs and a 5-2 lead. The margin proved to be the final split, as the Washington defense held the Beach Bums to just two hits after the seventh.
The Wild Things look to carry this momentum on the road as they travel to Avon, Ohio to take on the Lake Erie Crushers in a three-game series beginning on Friday.