After finishing up their nine-game homestand on a low note, the River City Rascals begin a weeklong road trip with three games against the Traverse City Beach Bums. It will be a series of competing strengths in this rematch of the 2015 Frontier League Championship Series. River City (7-7) has been the best hitting team in the league this season, and the Beach Bums (6-8) have been one of the best on the mound.
River City enters the series having lost four of their last give games. Despite the slump, the Rascal bats have stayed hot. River City leads the Frontier League in batting average at .309 and are second in OPS at .844. Josh Silver is not only leading the Rascals at the plate, but is the league’s breakout star. Silver leads all hitters with a .490 batting average and is in a five-way tie for second with four home runs.
The Rascals have had a harder time finding consistency from their rotation. River City added two pitchers last week, Jack Duffey and Reese Gregory, who both made their debut on Sunday and were promptly shelled for 11 runs combined in the 12-9 loss. Duffey was released a day after after his one inning of work and five earned runs, including a three-run home run. River City pitchers have given up a league worst 16 home runs through 14 games and are third worst in ERA (5.23).
Traverse City appeared to enter the season under a little bit of a championship hangover. The Beach Bums started the season 3-8 before a sweep of the Lake Erie Crushers brought them back to within two games of the .500 line. Where River City has shown an explosive offense, Traverse City’s has been anemic. They average 4.14 runs per game, more than a run less than the Rascals’ 5.36. The Beach Bums are second to last in batting average (.231) and tied for last in home runs (6) and OPS (.647).
On the plus side, their pitching staff is not allowing home runs. They have only allowed six, the same number they have hit. As a staff, they are fourth in the league in team ERA (4.05), and have some of the best individual performances from the mound this season. Dylan Stoops’ 1.02 ERA is second in the league and Kramer Champlin is fifth in strikeouts with 17. 10 of Champlin’s strikeouts came during a no-hitter against the Joliet Slammers on May 20.
Last season, the Beach Bums and Rascals split the regular season series, with the Bums taking 2-of-3 in Traverse City. In the championship series, the Beach Bums opened the series with two wins at home and finished the sweep to clinch the title with a win in O’Fallon.
Game 1: Joe Scanio (1-1, ERA) vs. Jacob Lanning (1-1,) Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 2: TBA vs. TBA Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: TBA vs. TBA Thursday, 7:05 p.m.
You can listen live on the Rascals Radio Network or follow along on FrontierLeague.com‘s Game Live.
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