Beach Bums’ Offense Hitting Stride in First Month

TRAVERSE CITY – Since opening their season with four consecutive losses, the Traverse City Beach Bums have responded by winning 11 of their last 18 games and find themselves sitting at .500 in the first month of the season.

Coming off Tuesday’s 9-1 victory over the Gateway Grizzlies, the Beach Bums (11-11) have won two straight on the bats of a pair of infielders. Second baseman Steven Patterson is batting a team-best .354 in 22 games and leads the club in hits (29) home runs (seven) and RBIs (20), while short stop Will Kengor isn’t far behind at .337 with 29 hits, seven doubles and 19 RBIs.

“The middle of the lineup is just doing great, but it’s really those other guys that set the table for us,” Kengor said.

“I think we can keep it going,” Patterson added. “Our lineup is stacked. We have guys one through nine that can hit the ball, and even off the bench we have guys that can hit the ball. It makes it fun to be able to know that our offense is going to put up runs, and I think that makes it a little easier on our pitchers, to be able to just come in and throw strikes, as long as we’re putting up runs.”

Veteran pitcher Kramer Champlin has picked up where he left off this winter after leading the Brisbane Bandits to an Australia Baseball League championship. Champlin is off to a 3-1 start and has posted a league-leading 1.01 earned run average and 14 strikeouts through 26 2/3 innings on the mound.

Left-hander John Havird has opened his rookie campaign with a 3-0 start, a 2.62 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 24 innings of work.

The Beach Bums continue their six-game homestand Thursday by wrapping up a three-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies.