Miracle Scores Late To Edge Manatees 1-0
The Twins Class-A Affiliate earned their victory with solid pitching.
On a warm spring evening in Fort Myers, I was on hand to watch the Miracle host the Brevard County Manatees at Hammond Stadium for their first match-up of the season.
From the start both pitchers kept their team in the game as they each pitched scoreless baseball.
Each team would get runners on base and in scoring position, but could not produce that one hit to put their team in the lead.
In the bottom of the third, Manatees Omar Garcia reached first on a bunt single, then Christopher McFarland doubled sending Garcia to third. After Lee struck out the next batter, the Miracle threw out Garcia at home after Clint Coulter hit a ground ball to third baseman Niko Goodrum, who threw to home to nab the runner and keep the game scoreless. Lee then got Victor Roache to ground out to end the threat.
From that point on each team managed to get a man or two on base but to no avail until the bottom of the eighth when Fort Myers finally broke through.
The Manatees brought in relief pitcher Tyler Spurlin to relive Woodruff, who pitched one of his best games on the season, lasting seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits, walking one and striking two.
Tanner Vavra greeted Spurlin with a double to right field and then advanced to third on a throwing error by Coulter. Next batter Zach Granite hit an RBI single scoring Vavra to put the Miracle up 1-0. After Granite was thrown out trying to steal second, Spurlin settled down and got the next two batters out.
In the top of the ninth, Brandon Peterson relieved Brett Lee, who also had one of his best performances of the season, winning his first game, while lasting eight scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, one walk and six strikeouts and lowering his ERA to 2.14. All Peterson did was strike out the side to earn his first save on the season and secure a well earned Miracle victory.
The Miracle (20-21) and Manatees battle in game two of their four game series at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Miracle – Luke Westphal, LHP (2-2, 4.37)
Manatees – Javier Salas, RHP (2-3, 2.83)
On Thursday the club hosted the Dog Daze of Summer promotion where they literally have fans invite their dogs to the park. There was even a cool Police Dog biting presentation where the K-9 goes after a guy (another cop) and bites at his arm which is covered with a thick material to prevent from actually getting bit. Then the K-9’s owner would yell a set of commands and the dog stopped and sat down waiting for the next direction from his owner.
This was cool to see because my own father was one of the original K-9 officers that the NYPD started in the early 1980’s and I as well was witnessed many biting presentations which always amazed me as a child. It was really cool having a K-9 living with us at home and knowing that each day he was out with my father protecting us all.