Traverse City’s Jose Vargas has made a habit of getting clutch hits with the Beach Bums over his five seasons with them. But Wednesday night, Vargas got perhaps his biggest one to date.
Vargas slapped a two-out out walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth, lifting Traverse City to a shocking 6-5 comeback win over the River City Rascals at Wuerfel Park in Traverse City, MI. River City held a 5-1 lead after five innings and watched that lead dissolve from the sixth frame on.
Traverse City (61-38) leads the best-of-five series 2-0, needing just one win to claim the club’s first-ever championship. River City will look to extend the series on Friday at 6:35 p.m. as the Rascals host game three at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, Mo.
What began as a chance to even the series and regain home field advantage turned into a blown opportunity for River City.
The Rascals got a well-pitched game from starter Lucas Laster.
Laster allowed just three runs on six hits in 6 and 1/3 innings on the mound. River City (59-50) had the bats cracking once again, as the Rascals banged out 13 hits.
River City struck early with a pair of runs in the top of the second.
Josh Silver and Casey Rodrigue ripped run-scoring singles, putting the Rascals ahead 2-0.
The Beach Bums scored a run in the bottom of the fifth but the Rascals responded with three runs in the top of the sixth
Taylor Ard scored off a Zach Kometani RBI-double, Jackson Slaid singled home Zach Kometani for a run, and Silver singled home his second run of the game to give River City a seemingly safe 5-1 cushion.
Traverse City continued to chip away at the lead. The Beach Bums scored a run in the sixth, two in the seventh, and a run in the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Vargas brought home Jeff DeBlieux from third on a walk-off RBI-double to right field off Rascals reliever Victor Beriguete to put the Rascals backs against the wall.
Bret Dahlson got the win in relief for Traverse City. Derek Cape took the loss for the Rascals.
River City will look to extend the series on at home on Friday night at T.R. Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon, Mo. in game three of the series. Game time is 6:35 p.m. Game four if necessary will be played Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at T.R. Hughes Ballpark and if a fifth and deciding game is necessary, it will be held on Monday back in Traverse City at Wuerfel Park at 7:05 p.m.