The Brevard County Manatees watched two early leads disappear on Sunday at Clearwater, as the Threshers completed the three-game sweep with a 5-2 win and sent the Manatees to their seventh consecutive loss.
The Manatees (3-15) opened the scoring in the top of the second against Threshers’ starter Will Morris, with back-to-back singles by George Iskenderian and Greg McCall. Jose Cuas singled one out later to plate Iskenderian and give the visitors a 1-0 lead. It was the first lead the Manatees held in the series, but it didn’t last long.
Clearwater (13-5) would strand runners at second and third in the top of the second, against Manatees’ starter Kodi Medeiros. They would not come up empty in the third inning. Scott Kingery led off with a double and went to third on a fly out by Cord Sandberg. Medeiros got Carlos Tocci on strikes and was one out from ending the inning. That was until Kyle Martin laced a double over the head of Brandon Diaz in left field, scoring Kingery and tying the game. Medeiros walked the next batter, before ending the frame with a strikeout. Brevard County answered with a run in the top of the fifth. Johnny Davis drew a one out walk and scored on Angel Ortega’s double to left. For Ortega, it was the second double of the season and his only hit of the game, in four trips. His average dipped to a still impressive .354. Iskenderian was the only Brevard County player with two hits.
The lead was again short-lived, as the Threshers put the game away in the bottom of the frame. Medeiros retired the first two batters again, before the floodgate opened. Tocci walked and scored after singles by Martin and Mitch Walding, knotting things up at two. Jon Olczak came on in relief of Medeiros and immediately gave up a two-run double to Zach Green, giving Clearwater a 4-2 lead. That closed the book on Medeiros (1-3), who allowed four runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of work. He walked three and struck out three, throwing 85 pitches (48 strikes). Malquin Canelo’s RBI triple, closed the scoring and was the only run allowed by Olczak in 1.1 innings of work. He gave up two hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck two. He threw 26 pitches, 21 for strikes.
Brad Kuntz came in to pitch the seventh and allowed only one hit. He’s been very good in the early going this season for the Manatees, pitching eight innings in six appearances. He’s allowed only one run and struck out 10, dropping his ERA to 1.13. Tyler Spurlin pitched the eighth for the Manatees, allowing one hit. His ERA is 1.42. Morris (1-1) got the win, going five innings for Clearwater. He allowed two runs on six hits. The bullpen took it from there, with Victor Arano, Alexis Rivero and Miguel Nunez combining for four innings of two-hit ball. Nunez was credited with the save.
For more info: Brevard County @ Clearwater boxscore
Brevard County will get a much-needed day off Monday, before opening a three-game series at home Tuesday, against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The Manatees starter has not been named for the 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Lakeland will send A.J. Ladwig to the hill. He beat the Manatees back on April 20, at Lakeland.