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FSL: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels Hold On For 8-5 Win

After dropping their first game of the season to the Dunedin Blue Jays 4-2, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, won on Friday 4-3 and on Saturday they scored eight runs and withstood a five run ninth inning rally to improve their record to 2-1.

Under the helm of skipper Brian Meyer, the Mighty Mussels won the 2022 Florida State League West First Half Division winners with a 41-23 record. They then went to the Semifinals in the league postseason, but came up a game short from advancing to the Finals.

Now in 2023, Meyer and his squad are looking at making it back to the postseason and beyond.

With Minnesota Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco rehabbing his left knee, he doubled in the first inning but was left stranded. The Mussels did not record another hit until the fourth inning, when Jorel Ortega lined a one out double to right field. After a walk to Rubel Cespedes, Andrew Cossetti flew out and Dalton Shuffield grounded out to end the inning.

On the other side of the ball, Mussels righty Zebby Matthews, making his first ever pro start, pitched a gem, tossing five shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks, and struck out seven batters. Relief picthers Ben Ethridge, A.J. Labas and Jackson Hicks, combined for three shutout innings to keep Dunedin off the board and Fort Myers in the lead.

The lead came in the fifth inning, started by a one out RBI single by Ricardo Olivar, scoring Danny De Andrade, who walked in the inning. Polanco, who also walked moved up to second and then scored on a single off the bat of Carlos Aguiar. After Ortega struck out, Cespedes lined a single to left scoring both Olivar and Aguiar to make it 4-0. Next batter Cossetti singled to left moving Cespedes to second, then Shuffield hit his own line drive single scoring Cespedes to push the lead to 5-0.

In the sixth, the Mussels took advantage of sloppy defense and scored a run after a delayed double steal. Aguiar, who was on first, after hitting a single, attempted to steal second, with Olivar on third base. After the throw from the catcher went down to second, Olivar dashed home to swipe the base without a throw and put the Mussels up 6-0.

Two more runs in the seventh, after an RBI single from Shuffield and a wild pitch scoring Cossetti and Fort Myers led 8-0 after seven.

In the top of the ninth, the Blue Jays put together two out rally and scored five runs off Gabriel Yanezto to find themselves trailing by just three runs. Skipper Meyer then brought in Zach Veen to stop the bleeding and he induced a strike out to secure the last out and an 8-5 victory.

Mussels Stars of the Game

Ricardo Olivar – 2 for 5, 2 R, RBI

Carlos Aguiar – 2 for 4, R, RBI

Jorel Ortega – 2 for 5, 2 Doubles

Rubel Cespedes – 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI

Andrew Cossetti – 2 for 3, R, Double

Dalton Shuffield – 2 for 3, 2 RBI

Zebby Matthews (W, 1-0) – 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 Ks

 

 

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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