The Brevard County Manatees struggled to find their offense on Wednesday, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium. Brevard County managed just three hits in the game, this following a four hit performance on Tuesday. Statistically, it didn’t look good for the Manatees, but they did have their chances, early in the contest. Clint Coulter started the second inning with a single against Fort Myers starter Stephen Gonsalves. One out later, Fidel Pena singled and moved up on a Jose Cuas walk, loading the bases. Omar Garcia was next up and hit a slow grounder to second, which was turned into an inning ending double play.
The Miracle (4-3) got on the board in the second inning against Manatees righty Angel Ventura. Trey Vavra started the inning with a hard hit ball to left field, that hit the glove of Brandon Diaz and fell for a double. A Logan Wade groundout moved him to third and he came home one batter later on an infield hit by Chad Christensen, giving Fort Myers a 1-0 lead. Ventura (0-1) would last just four innings, giving up a run on four hits, walking two and striking out six. He threw 81 pitches, 52 for strikes.
Brevard County would threaten again in the fifth inning. Cuas would walk to start the frames. Garcia would then drop down a bunt that was fielded by Vavra at first. Garcia alertly started backpedaling toward the plate and Vavra chased him, tagging him out and allowing Cuas to get to third on the play. Unfortunately, all that went for nothing as the next hitter Diaz, grounded into an unconventional 1-5-6 double play, resulting in outs at home plate and second base, ending yet another Manatees threat.
The Miracle would add to their lead in the fifth, against Manatees’ reliever Junior Rincon. After striking out the first batter, Rincon would give up a bunt single to Tanner English who promptly stole second and went to third on an Alex Swim groundout. Nick Gordon would chase English home with an RBI single, giving the home team a 2-0 lead. Gordon would then steal second and after Vavra drew a walk, Wade would hit one on the ground to second, Vavra screened second baseman George Iskenderian on the play, causing him to lose the handle on the ball and plating Gordon with the second run of the inning.
That would be more than enough for Gonsalves, who completed six innings, allowed two hits, three walks and four strikeouts. He threw 84 pitches, 51 of those for strikes. Luke Westphal pitched the seventh inning and Trevor pitched the final two innings for the save. He did allow a hit to Johnny Davis to start the ninth, but Ortega would ground into a double play and Dustin DeMuth would strikeout swinging to end the contest. Zach Hirsch, who started the Manatees home opener, would pitch the final two innings of Wednesday’s game, allowing one hit.
For more info: Brevard County @ Fort Myers boxscore
Brevard County will look to end the series on a high note Thursday, as they go for a split against hard-throwing right-hander Kohl Stewart. He will be opposed by Kodi Medeiros, who picked up a win on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.