The Brevard County Manatees have had trouble scoring runs in the early going this season. That wasn’t a problem on Sunday, as they put 13 runs on the board in game three of their series against St. Lucie at Tradition Field. The Manatees collected 14 hits in the lopsided victory.
Brevard County (3-8) got things rolling in the first inning, scoring five times against Mets’ starter Scarlyn Reyes. The ‘Tees sent nine men to the plate in the inning, scoring their first run on an Amed Rosario error at second. Clint Coulter singled and an error by the Jon Mora in left. George Iskenderian added an RBI single, making it 3-0. Dustin Houle hit into a double play, scoring Coulter and the final run of the inning came home on a double by Taylor Brennan.
Reyes threw 27 pitches in that first inning and he never really recovered. After retiring the Manatees in order in the second, things got out of hand in the third inning when Brevard County sent 11 men to the plate, helped by two wild pitches, a passed ball. Coulter singled twice in the inning, the second of which resulted in an RBI. Fidel Pena had a sac fly RBI and Angel Ortega laced a 2-run single. Reyes was pulled after the visitors put eight on the board, giving way to Ben Griset. Reyes was tagged for 10 runs, seven of them earned.
Meanwhile, Manatees starter Brandon Woodruff (1-1) was cruising. He allowed a leadoff single to Champ Stuart and a fifth inning single to Wuilmer Becerra. He struck out the side in both the second and third inning. He capped a seven strikeout streak when Rosario struck out to start the fourth. John Mora followed with a groundout, ending the run. Woodruff went five innings, striking out eight. The 78 pitches he threw (48 strikes) were the likely reason he came out of the game.
Manager Joe Ayrault took Bubba Derby out of the game after 72 pitches on Saturday, citing pitch count. Following that logic would lead you to the same conclusion for Woodruff. Kaleb Earls relieved Woodruff and went two innings. He didn’t allow a hit and struck out one, while walking three. Brad Kuntz pitched the final two innings, striking out the last two St. Lucie batters in the ninth.
Taylor Brennan’s sac fly in the sixth scored Coulter, who doubled earlier in the inning. The visitors loaded the bases multiple times on Sunday, including twice in the third. They did it again in the seventh, when Johnny Davis, Ortega and Dustin DeMuth, who’s had some tough luck in this series, hit consecutive singles. Coulter hit into a double play but that scored a run. It was the only blip in Coulter’s day, as he went 4-for-5 with three singles and a double. He also scored three runs and knocked one in. Every Manatees’ starter scored at least one run, while only Houle was held out of the hit parade. Ortega was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. He reached base five times on Sunday. Pena went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
For more info: Brevard County @ St. Lucie boxscore
The loss dropped St. Lucie to 7-4, but they will look to take the series from the Manatees on Monday, when these two teams finish up the four-game series. Angel Ventura (0-1, 1.50 ERA) will try to keep that from happening, as he makes his second start for the Manatees. He will be opposed by Casey Delgado (1-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.