The Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers were up and at ‘em early on Thursday as the two teams finished their three game series The contest got underway at 10:30 a.m. at Henley Field in Lakeland. The Flying Tigers completed the sweep with a 4-1 win.
Major League-rehabber Jeff Ferrell made his second appearance of the series, pitching the first inning of Thursday’s game and striking out the side. This follows his inning of work on Tuesday, when he gave up a double and struck out one. Thursday’s scheduled starter Artie Lewicki took over in the second and recorded one out before finding a bit of trouble. George Iskenderian singled and stole second. On the steal, Lakeland catcher Kade Scivicque threw the ball into centerfield and Iskenderian took third. He came home on a ground out by Taylor Brennan, giving the Manatees an early 1-0 advantage.
The Flying Tigers (8-7) tied things up in the bottom of the third when Ben Verlander started the inning with a double against Manatees’ starter Bubba Derby. One out later A. J. Simcox singled, moving Verlander to third. After Derby struck out Mike Gerber, Christin Stewart was at the plate when Lakeland successfully pulled off a double steal. Verlander came home and Simcox was safe at second. He went to third on a throwing error by Manatees’ catcher Greg McCall, who was making his first start of the season.
Derby was pulled after four innings and 76 pitches (46 strikes). He allowed one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five. Zach Hirsch came in to pitch the fifth and the Flying Tigers jumped on him immediately. Singles by Ross Kivett and Gerber, along with a walk to Stewart, loaded the bases. They weren’t loaded for long as Scivicque came up and hit a bases-clearing double, giving the Flying Tigers a 4-1 lead. Hirsch came back to retire the next two batters in that inning and went on to throw two scoreless innings before giving way to Brad Kuntz in the eighth, but the damage was done.
Lakeland went to the bullpen to start the sixth, bringing in Jeff Thompson. Lewicki (2-1) allowed one run and two hits in four innings of work. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four on 62 pitches (41 strikes). Thompson pitched three hitless innings, walking one and striking out three.
Lakeland first baseman Wade Hinkle was tossed from the game as the prior to the top of the ninth inning, likely arguing his strikeout ending the eighth inning. Edgar De La Rosa came on to close things out on the mound for the Flying Tigers and retired the Manatees in order.
For more info: Brevard County @ Lakeland boxscore
Brevard County (3-12) has now lost four in a row and will travel to Clearwater to start a weekend series on Friday. Elniery Garcia (2-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Threshers. The ‘Tees have yet to name a starter. First pitch is set for 6:15 p.m.