Brevard Shut Down by White in 4-1 Loss to Dunedin
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Dunedin Blue Jays starter Ben White was close to unhittable on Friday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and eventually pitched his team to a 4-1 win over the Brevard County Manatees, 4-1.
White (6-6, 4.90 ERA) could not complete the no-hitter, as Greg Hopkins lined a double down the left field line to lead off the sixth inning, but the D-Jays' starting pitcher was still stellar over seven frames. The righty allowed just one run on two hits, hit one batter and struck out five to pick up the win.
Dunedin (27-27 second half, 73-50 overall) took a few innings to give White run support, but the Blue Jays eventually put a run on the board in the bottom of the third. Shane Opitz led off the inning with a single against Manatees starter Chad Pierce. After Pierce got the next two men to pop out, Nick Baligod singled to put runners on the corners for Dwight Smith, Jr.
With a chance to plate the first run of the ballgame, Smith chopped a ground ball toward the mound and Pierce reached up to try to make the play. The pitcher got a piece of the ball, but it skipped off his glove and settled in the infield grass. Smith reached first safely for an infield single and Opitz scored to give Dunedin a 1-0 lead.
The D-Jays tacked on three more runs in the fifth. Peter Mooney singled to start the frame and Opitz followed with triple off the right field wall to push Dunedin's advantage to 2-0. Jorge Saez added to the lead with an RBI single and after a double play cleared the bases, Baligod launched a solo home run to right field to make the Jays' lead, 4-0.
Brevard County (25-27, 61-57) scored its only run in White's final inning of work, the top of the seventh. Tyrone Taylor began the inning with a bloop single that fell in front of Jays right fielder Marcus Knecht, who appeared to lose the ball in the lights. Michael Reed was hit by a pitch immediately after, but White rolled a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs and Taylor moved up to third. With Mike Garza hitting, White skipped a wild pitch to the backstop, which allowed Taylor to score and cut the Manatees' deficit to 4-1.
Pierce (3-8, 4.63 ERA) took the loss for Brevard County. The righty went five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. Pierce walked two and struck out two.
Both teams' bullpens put up zeros the rest of the way. Dunedin right-hander Danny Barnes pitched a perfect eighth inning and bridged the gap to Jays closer Arik Sikula. The Florida State League-leader in saves pitched a one-two-three ninth to complete his 30th save of the season.
Manatees relievers Trevor Seidenberger and Tyler Spurlin were also perfect over three innings. Seidenberger set the D-Jays down in order in the sixth and seventh innings. The left-hander struck out a pair in his strongest relief outing with Brevard County. Spurlin then worked a perfect eighth inning with two groundouts and a strikeout.
The Manatees and Blue Jays face off again on Saturday night in Dunedin. First pitch at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jorge Lopez (8-8, 3.94 ERA) is slated to start for Brevard against Roberto Osuna (0-1, 8.64 ERA).
For more information on the Brevard County Manatees, call (321) 633-9200 or go online to ManateesBaseball.com. Also, don't forget to like the Manatees on Facebook and follow the Manatees both on Twitter and Instagram.
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