The Yankees number one rated prospect and future shortstop Jorge Mateo gave the Bronx Bombers a glimpse of what the future might hold Saturday. Mateo split the gap in the bottom of the 10th inning at Tampa, carrying the T-Yanks to a 3-2 win and a split of the doubleheader.
The Brevard County Manatees (5-18) took game one by the score of 7-4, but watched game two slip through their fingers. The Manatees got on the board early, taking advantage of two walks by Tampa starter Chance Adams. With one out, Adams issued consecutive free passes to Dustin DeMuth and Taylor Brennan. One out later, Gregory McCall’s one out single made it 1-0 Brevard County. Adams started the third inning by walking Johnny Davis. A single by Angel Ortega, went right back through the middle and just missed hitting Davis in the head. He was able to duck out of the way and move to third. He scored shortly thereafter on a double play ball hit by Clint Coulter, who had a home run in game one. That made the score 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Manatees’ starting pitcher Angel Ventura pitched well, allowing two hits in four innings of work. Unfortunately, he was the victim of a high pitch count throwing 65, 41 of those for strikes. He walked one and struck out seven, before giving way to Junior Rincon to start the fifth. Tampa got to him immediately. Austin Aune led the inning off with a double to right. Zack Zehner moved him to third with a single and Aune scored when McCall attempted to pick him off at third and the throw sailed. That made it 2-1. A walk and a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third. Mateo followed with an RBI ground out, tying the game at two.
The Manatees’ offense stalled until Ortega singled in the ninth inning, against reliever James Reeves who came into the game in the eighth inning. Ortega’s single was just the third hit of the night for the ‘Tees and the first since his single in the third. Ortega moved to second, after Reeves attempted pick-off throw went wide. After Coulter struck out, George Iskenderian was intentionally walked. Reeves threw the first of the four intentional balls low and away and it almost went to the backstop. He regained his composure and completed it, putting runners at second and third.
Following a DeMuth strikeout, Brennan walked to load the bases. Reeves battled back to get Omar Garcia swinging and end the inning. Tampa (15-8) threatened in the bottom of the ninth, getting two runners on before Francisco Diaz lined out to Brandon Diaz in left, who was able to double off Abiatal Avelino at second. Brevard County went down in order in the top of the 10th, striking out twice. That was the Manatees downfall in game two, as they fanned 15 times against Tampa pitching. Brevard County had just three hits in the contest, after earning 12 knocks in game one.
For more info: Brevard County @ Tampa boxscore (game 2)
Zach Hirsch (0-4) gave up the game-winning hit in the 10th, earning the loss. He went the final two innings, allowing four hits and one run. He struck out three and walked one, throwing 35 pitches, 24 for strikes. His three K’s got the Manatees’ total to 12.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon when Eric Hanhold (0-3, 3.00 ERA takes the ball for Brevard County, against Tampa lefty Josh Rogers. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.