The Brevard County Manatees finished a four-game series against the Fort Myers Miracle on Thursday and they’ll be very glad to put this one in the rearview mirror. The Miracle struck for three runs in the first inning and never looked back, en route to a 7-2 victory at Hammond Stadium. They also overcame a season high five errors.
Brevard County starter Kodi Medeiros made his second start and just didn’t have the control he displayed in his first outing. Tanner English led off the bottom of the first with a home run to left-center field. It was the first home run Medeiros allowed in over 98 innings of work, according to Miracle broadcaster Brice Zimmerman.
Alex Swim would reach on an error and move to second on a Trey Vavra single. Chris Paul, making his Miracle debut followed with an RBI double, giving Fort Myers a 2-0 lead and moving Vavra to third. He would score on a Chad Christensen single to make it 3-0. Clint Coulter would start the Manatees’ second inning with a single, but they would strand two runners in the frame against Fort Myers starter Kohl Stewart. He kept the Sea Cows at bay for much of the night, allowing only the hit to Coulter in his six innings of work. Brevard County tally three hits the rest of the night, against the Miracle bullpen.
The Miracle (5-3) would add a single run in the fourth. Medeiros allowed a single to Austin Diemer, who stole second base before Medeiros walked Alex Swim. That was the end of the night for the Manatees starter, who gave way to Kender Villegas, after 3.2 innings. Logan Wade greeted Villegas with a single, plating Swim and adding another run to Medeiros line. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits, walked three and struck out three. 46 of his 79 pitches were strikes. Villegas would give up a run of his own in the sixth, due in large part to his throwing error on a bunt single by English that allowed him to go to second. English would move to third on a wild pitch and later scored on an Alex Swim single, making it 5-0 in favor of the home team.
The Manatees (2-6) got something going in the seventh against Miracle reliever Raul Fernandez. George Iskenderian drew a one out walk and went to third on a Blake Allemand single. The threat was quickly erased when Taylor Brennan grounded into an inning ending double play. The Miracle added a run in the bottom of the inning when Brian Navarreto ended his 0-for the season slump with an RBI double, giving his team a 6-0 lead.
Brevard County answered back in the top of the eighth when Johnny Davis, who singled earlier in the inning, came home on a Dustin DeMuth ground out. It was the first run for the Manatees since the eighth inning of game two of the series, a drought that spanned 17 innings. DeMuth advanced to second on a throwing error, but would not go any further. Kaleb Earls took the mound in the eighth for the Manatees and had a night to forget. He committed two balks in the inning, resulting in Fort Myers’ final run of the night. He was on the mound for the final out of the inning, but was tossed from the proceedings in the ninth, by home plate umpire Justin Robinson.
For more info: Brevard County @ Fort Myers boxscore
The good news for the Manatees is that they don’t have much time to dwell on this one. They will play in the third annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game on Friday, against the St. Lucie Mets. The game will be played in Vero Beach at Historic Dodgertown. Corey Oswalt (0-0, 16.88) will get the start for the Mets, with Brevard County yet to name a starter. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.