April 5, 2013 - Florida State League (FSL) - Fort Myers Miracle
BRADENTON, Fla. (April 5, 2013) - The Fort Myers Miracle spoiled the Bradenton Marauders home opener with a 4-1 victory at McKechnie Field on Friday night.
Miracle starter Jason Wheeler tossed five shutout innings and earned his first win in the Florida State League. Wheeler (1-0) allowed a base runner in four of five innings, but worked around trouble scattering four hits while striking out three and walking one.
Wheeler's counterpart, Marauder starter Nick Kingham, mowed through the Miracle lineup in the first three innings, setting down nine in a row. Fort Myers touched Kingham (0-1) up in the fourth when Angel Morales led off with a double. Eddie Rosario followed with a single, his first hit in with the Miracle, and Kingham then walked Sano to load the bases.
With Mike Gonzales at the plate, a Kingham fastball elluded Marauder catcher Jacob Stallings and Morales raced home. One out later, with Kennys Vargas at the plate, another pitch got past Stallings and Rosario scored to give the Miracle a 2-0 lead.
Fort Myers added to the lead in the top of the fifth with a one-out home run from Kyle Knudson. On a 2-0 pitch from Kingham, Knudson hit a lined rocket over the left field fence for his first home run of the season and in the Florida State League.
The Miracle flexed more muscle in the seventh when Vargas launched a towering home run to right field to push the advantage to 4-0.
Bradenton scratched across a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Miguel Munoz pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings, reliever Cole Johnson allowed a two-out single to Gergory Polanco.
In the ninth, Miracle reliever Corey Williams shut the door for his first save of the season. Williams retired the Marauders in order, striking out Stallings for the final out.
Fort Myers (2-0) returns to Hammond Stadium tomorrow for a 6:05 p.m. first pitch against Bradenton with fireworks following the game. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Fans can pick up complimentary tickets at local Wendy's in Lee and Collier counties at no charge. For $2.00, fans can upgrade to box seats at the Hammond Stadium ticket office beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.