Brevard rallies back to stun Clearwater in extras
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brevard County catcher Parker Berberet collected his first career multi-home run game, as the Manatees defeated the Clearwater Threshers, 7-2 in game two of Friday's doubleheader at Bright House Field.
After a thrilling comeback in game one, the Manatees' (31-29 second half, 67-59 overall) offense exploded early in the nightcap. Brevard County tallied a run in the first and five more in the second to jump out to a 6-0 advantage.
Orlando Arcia incited the first inning rally against Threshers starter Jeb Stefan (6-12, 6.57 ERA) with a one out single to center. After he advanced to second on a ground out to short by Tyrone Taylor, the Venezuelan native came across to score on an RBI single to center by Michael Reed to give the 'Tees the early lead, 1-0.
Berberet got things started in the next inning. On a 1-1 pitch, he ripped a line drive down the left field line. The ball stayed fair and carried over the wall for a solo home run - Berberet's first of the season - to give Brevard County a two-run cushion.
It only got worse from there for Stefan, Garrett Cooper and Greg Hopkins followed the Berberet blast with a pair of singles. Jose Sermo then walked on four pitches to load the bases for Nathan Orf. The former Baylor Bear cranked a ball into the left-center field gap that got down for extra bases. Both Cooper and Hopkins scored, while Sermo ended up at third. Orf was in at second with a stand-up double and the 'Tees were now in front, 4-0.
Brevard County picked up its final two runs of the frame on a pair of productive outs. Arcia grounded out to short and Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to center to score both Sermo and Orf to make it 6-0 Manatees.
With the score now 6-1, Berberet utilized the long ball again the sixth. Stefan left a 3-2 pitch over the plate and the former 25th-round pick crushed over the wall in right. The clout was Berberet's second home run of the game - and the season - extended the lead to, 7-1.
J.P. Crawford drove home Clearwater's (27-35, 44-86) first run with a ground out to short in the third, while Art Charles clobbered his second home run of the doubleheader - and his 18th of the season - with a solo shot to right in the sixth.
Manatees starter Chad Pierce (3-8, 4.60) threw well, but did not pitch long enough to factor into the decision. The right-hander left the game with one out in the top of the third inning with what appeared to be tightness in his lower back.
The Wisconsin native yielded just one run on one hit over 2.1 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
With the bullpen taxed after a rough series in Tampa, Martin Viramontes saved the day by giving the Manatees four innings of dominant relief. After allowing one of Pierce's inherited runners to score, the right-hander shut down the Clearwater attack by allowing just one run on three hits. Viramontes walked two and struck out a season-high seven to pick up his second win of 2014.
Left-hander Trevor Seidenberger came on to relieve Viramontes with one out in the seventh to record the final two outs of the game.
After a rocky first two innings, Stefan settled in and gave the Threshers some length. He allowed seven runs on seven hits, but retired 13 in a row at one point, from the second until the sixth. Stefan issued one walk and punched out six in his league-leading 12th loss of the year.
By sweeping Friday's doubleheader, the Manatees are now an incredible 8-0 at Bright House Field this season. In all eight games, Brevard County has scored five or more runs. When the 'Tees score five or more they usually come out on top, as they have posted a 39-6 record when they do such this year.
Brevard County and Clearwater will battle again tomorrow with first pitch at Bright House Field scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tyler Wagner (13-5, 1.60) will go for his league-leading 14th victory of the season against right-hander Kevin Walter (1-3, 4.83).
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Florida State League Stories from August 22, 2014
- Brevard rallies back to stun Clearwater in extras - Brevard County Manatees
- Miracle Take Friday Opener 5-2 - Charlotte Stone Crabs
- Threshers Swept in Doubleheader by Manatees - Clearwater Threshers
- Cardinals Edge Marauders to Remain in First - Palm Beach Cardinals
- Tomshaw, Kanzler Crack Crabs in 5-2 Win - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
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