Brevard Nips Dunedin to Avoid Sweep
DUNEDIN, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees used the long ball and some stellar defense to hold off the Dunedin Blue Jays 5-4 and avoid the series sweep at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Saturday night.
With a run already on the board in the frame, closer Seth Harvey entered with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the 8th inning. With Brevard County (15-14) leading 5-4, Harvey walked Derrick Chung after K.C. Hobson stole second to load the bases.
Marcus Knecht then lined a hard hit ball to the left side. Third baseman Brandon Macias dove to his left, but could only get a piece of the baseball, which deflected towards shortstop Yadiel Rivera. Rivera picked up the ball with his bare hand and fired over to first to barely beat a hustling Knecht.
The 'Tees would load up the bases in the top half of the ninth inning against Dustin Antolin, but Antolin struck out T.J. Mittelstaedt and retired Greg Hopkins to escape the jam.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Dunedin (17-11) didn't go down quietly. Harvey walked Peter Mooney with one out before Jon Berti sharply grounded a ball to Yadiel Rivera who stepped on second and threw over to first in plenty of time to turn the game-ending double play. It was Harvey's first four-out save of the season. For Harvey, it was his seventh save in as many opportunities this year.
Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Brevard County put a three runs on the board to take the lead. Chadwin Stang drove in the first run of the frame with a RBI single to left on a chopping ball that third baseman Andy Burns had trouble with when he appeared to slip trying to make the play. The next batter, Mittelstaedt, launched a two-run home run to right field to give the Manatees the 3-1 lead.
That score would hold into the seventh inning. John Dishon singled with two outs and then stole second to get into scoring position. Dishon finished 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
Stang then smacked a two-run home run to straight away center field to double the Brevard County lead. Stang was 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBI on the evening.
Brent Suter (2-0, 2.13) earned his second win in as many starts with the Manatees. Suter lasted 6.2 innings and allowed three runs - two earned - on five hits. He walked one batter and struck out three. Two of the runs came when Matt Newman, the final batter that Suter faced, lashed a two-out, two-run double in the seventh.
With the win, the Manatees salvage a game in the series and finish 3-4 on the week-long road trip.
The Manatees will welcome the Charlotte Stone Crabs to Space Coast Stadium for the first game of a four-game series on Sunday evening at 5:05 p.m. Sunday marks the start of a seven-game home stand for the 'Tees.
Lefty Jed Bradley (2-1, 3.92) will get the call for Brevard County. He will be opposed by Charlotte's Roberto Gomez (0-4, 7.04).
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