The Lakeland Flying Tigers jumped out to an early lead Tuesday against the visiting Brevard County Manatees and never looked back, en route to a 9-4 win at Henley Field. Lakeland scored three runs in the first frame and five more in the third, with the majority of the runs charged to Manatees’ starter Kodi Medeiros (1-2).
A. J. Simcox led off the bottom of the first with a single. He came home on a double by Joey Pankake. After a walk to Mike Gerber, Medeiros retired the next two batters. Grayson Greiner put the exclamation point on the inning when he rifled a double, clearing the bases and giving the home team a 3-0 lead. They would run away and hide in the third inning, sending nine men to the plate and scoring five times. Wade Hinkle reached on an error by Angel Ortega at short, scoring two runs. Simcox came up a couple batters later and stroked a bases loaded double to right, making it 7-0. Ben Verlander stopped at third and that would be the end of the night for Medeiros.
Clint Terry, who was added to the Brevard County roster on Monday when Kaleb Earls was put on the seven-day disabled list, came in to the game and gave up an RBI sac fly to Pankake. That would close the book on Medeiros, who gave up eight runs (six earned) struck out two and walked four in 2.1 innings of work. He threw 71 pitches, 42 for strikes. Terry would settle things down in a big way, allowing only one hit in 1.2 innings of work. He was in the zone, throwing 31 pitches, 24 for strikes. Meanwhile, Lakeland’s pitching was on as well. Jeff Ferrell pitched a perfect first inning in a rehab appearance and top 10 prospect Jairo Labourt (W, 1-0) went the next five and picked up the win. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out three.
The Flying Tigers would add a run in the fifth on a wild pitch by Junior Rincon for their final run of the night. Adenson Verastegui would pitch the seventh for Lakeland before giving way to Willy Paredes in the eight, that’s when the Manatees’ offense showed some signs of life.
Dustin DeMuth started the inning with a single, his second hit of the night. He moved to second on a balk and was chased home by a Clint Coulter single. One out later Coulter took second on defensive indifference and he would go to third on a Fidel Pena ground out. Omar Garcia was credited with a soft single on a ball out in front of the plate that was fielded by the catcher Greiner. Maybe a swinging bunt that Greiner had to field and with no one covering home, Coulter scored, to make it 9-2. Garcia would take second later in the inning on defensive indifference, but he was left stranded when Jose Cuas struck out to end the inning.
For more info: Brevard County @ Lakeland boxscore
Lakeland improved to 6-7 with the win, while the Manatees fell to 3-10. Three Flying Tigers had multi-hit games in Simcox, Christin Stewart and Hinkle. The Manatees only had six hits as a team. DeMuth went 2-for-5, while Garcia went 2-for-5. Brevard County left 10 men on base. Game two of the series starts at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday with Eric Hanhold (0-1, 1.59 ERA) taking the ball for Brevard County. He will be opposed by A.J. Ladwig (2-0, 0.00 ERA).