A wild card playoff spot was already assured for the River City Rascals heading into this final weekend of the 2015 season. But the Rascals wanted to make sure they at least started the playoffs with a home game.
Mission accomplished in emphatic fashion.
River City put on a surreal power display that featured five home runs as the Rascals hammered the Traverse City Beach Bums 13-1 in the regular season home finale Thursday night at T. R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, Mo.
In the second inning, River City (53-40) broke on top with a pair of runs off RBI-singles from Josh Ludy and Casey Rodrigue to go up 2-0.
Rascals third baseman Taylor Ard ripped one put double down the right field line and after Zac Kometani grounded to third, second baseman Hector Crespo bombed a two-run homer over the left field fence to make it 4-0.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Ludy got his second hit of the night as he led off with a home run blast off the left field foul pole.
Meanwhile, Traverse City, which managed just six hits on the night could not get much going against Rascals starter Tim Koons. Koons pitched six innings of shutout ball before giving way to River City righthander Zac Treece out of the bullpen in the seventh.
River City chased Beach Bums starter Ian MacDougal with a five-run barrage in the the bottom of the sixth.
An error on a throw home led to one run and then another run scored off Johnny Morales’ single to center. Then with two on and two out, Kometani topped of the explosion with a massive three-run shot to right center field extending the lead to 10-0.
Jackson Slaid homered in the seventh and Ard cracked a two-run home run to left field in the eighth to finish off the Rascals 13 run, 17 hit onslaught.
Traverse City (53-38), third seed in the Frontier League playoffs, got a run in the top of the ninth to avoid the shutout.
River City heads down to Evansville (In.) to face the Evansville Otters in a season ending three game set.
Game one begins Friday night at 6:35 p.m. at Bosse Field in Evansville.
The Rascals wild card home game opponent on Tuesday will be determined by the results of this weekend’s Frontier League games.