Legends On Deck

Miracle Drop First Meeting With Marauders, 3-0

Luke Westphal

Starter Luke Westphal (Photo Courtesy of David Conde/LOD)

It was a great night for baseball on a cool and breezy Monday evening in Fort Myers as the Miracle hosted the Bradenton Marauders for the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.

The Miracle started the night at 9-15 and mired in last place in the Florida State League South division, with the Marauders at 12-12 and in second place.

Fort Myers sent lefty Luke Westphal to the mound against Marauders righty Matt Benedict.

Westphal (L, 0-2, 5.40) lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing one run on eight hits, while walking two and striking out two.  His counterpart, Benedict (W, 3-1, 2.00) fared much better as he pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, without walking a batter and striking out five.

Both teams struggled early to get a run across the board until the top of the fifth when Bradenton struck first to take a 1-0 lead. Pirates top outfield prospect, Austin Meadows, walked with one out and scored on an RBI single by fellow top prospect, catcher Reese McGuire.

After a lead-off single in the bottom of the first, the Marauders starter Matt Benedict retired the next 15 Miracle batters before a single by first baseman Bryan Haar snapped the streak in the bottom of the sixth. But Zach Granite lined into a double play, as pitcher Benedict caught the liner to double up Haar at first and end any threat.

The Miracle did have their moments on the defensive side, as they helped their pitcher with three inning ending double plays in the third, fourth and fifth.

Jose Osuna

Jose Osuna

But the Marauders couldn’t be contained for too long as they would strike again in the top of the eighth on a long two run blast to left field off the bat of Jose Osuna, his second home of the season, which gave Bradenton added cushion with 3-0 lead. The shot off the bat was recorded as coming off the bat at 98 mph and landing 372 feet from home plate.

In the bottom of the ninth, Zach Granite had a one-out single, went to third on a two-out single by designated hitter Alex Swim, but they were stranded when Chad Christensen flied out to right field representing the tying run at the plate.

With the loss the Miracle drop to 9-16, and seven games out of first and with their second straight victory, the Marauders are 13-12, tied for second place, and just three games out of first.

Top Performers:

Barrett Barnes – 2 for 4, BB
Reese McGuire – 2 for 4, RBI
Jose Osuna – 1 for 4, R, HR, 2 RBI
Edwin Espinal – 2 for 2, 2 BB
Matt Benedict – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

Zach Granite – 2 for 4

What’s Next:

On Tuesday night, both teams will battle again with the Miracle sending righty Aaron Slegers (1-2, 3.79) to the mound against Marauders starter lefty Cody Dickson (2-3, 3.20) with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 pm at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

David Conde
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