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Bullpen Falters in 12-Inning Loss

June 6, 2014 - Florida State League (FSL) - Brevard County Manatees News Release

VIERA, Fla. - After giving up just three runs in their last 29 innings of work entering the night, the Brevard County Manatees could not hold a four-run lead in a 12-inning, 5-4 loss to the Bradenton Marauders on Friday night at Space Coast Stadium in front of a crowd of 2,604.

With the game deadlocked at four in the top of the 12th, Josh Bell stepped in against Manatees' reliever Mike Strong. On a 0-1 pitch, Bell smashed a fly ball to deep left field. Orf tracked it all the way back to the wall, but the ball carried into the Marauders' bullpen to give Bradenton (31-30) its first and only lead of the night, 5-4.

The Marauders rally began once Manatees' starter Chad Pierce (1-2, 3.25 ERA) was lifted from the game after the sixth inning. Trailing 4-0, Jose Osuna greeted reliever Scott Lieser rudely to start the seventh. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Osuna drove one over the wall in left-center field for a solo home run - his second of the year - to cut the lead to three.

Bradenton trimmed the lead further against Lieser in the eighth. With one out, Walker Gourley poked a single to center and Bell reached base on an error by second baseman Yadiel Rivera. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Jordan Steranka slapped a single to center to score Gourley to trim the Brevard County (31-29) lead to 4-2.

That was the final pitch Lieser would throw as Mark Williams came out of the bullpen to try and stop the bleeding. With runners at the corners, Osuna lifted a sacrifice fly to left to cut the lead down to one. Williams ended the rally there as he struck out Max Moroff swinging to end the threat.

With the score 4-3 going to the ninth, the Marauders tied the game thanks to a Brevard defensive miscue. Leading off the frame, Jeff Roy hit a chopper to Orlando Arcia. The shortstop, who had already committed a throwing error earlier in the night, made another errant throw to first which allowed Roy to go to second.

Roy advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Stallings. With the infield drawn in to cut off the run, Raul Fortunato grounded a ball just past the outstretched glove of Arcia into left field. Roy scampered home easily to score and tie the game up, 4-4.

The Marauders had a chance to grab the lead in the 11th, but could not do so. With two outs, Fortunato ended up at second base on a wild throw from third baseman Nicky Delmonico. The next batter, Adam Frazier squirted a ball back up the box into center field. Fortunato motored around third to try and score the go-ahead run, but was gunned down at the plate on an excellent throw by center fielder Tyrone Taylor.

Brevard County grabbed the initial lead in the bottom of the first against Bradenton starter Jason Creasy (3-2, 3.50). Nathan Orf led off the frame with a single back up the box and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Arcia. Taylor followed with a lazy fly ball to left field, but Fortunato could not make the catch to put runners on the corners.

Michael Reed, who was recently activated from the disabled list, responded with the big base knock. Reed lined a double down the right field line to score both Orf and Taylor to give Brevard the lead, 2-0. Two batters later, Cameron Garfield drilled a single to center to score Reed to push the advantage to three.

The Manatees added their final run with Garfield at the plate in the sixth. After a Delmonico double, Garfield hit a hard grounder to short. Frazier tried making a backhanded stop, but the ball ricocheted off the shortstop's leg and into left field. That allowed Delmonico, who initially slid feet first into third base, to score and give Brevard a 4-0 lead.

The extra-inning contest resulted in both starters being saddled with no-decisions. Despite some early troubles, Creasy allowed four runs - one earned - on eight hits in seven innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.

The extra-inning loss cost Pierce, who was fantastic in a spot start, his second victory of the year. The former Wisconsin-Milwaukee star did not allow a run and surrendered just two hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out two. Pierce has allowed just five hits in 10.1 shutout innings in his two starts this season.

The loss also spoiled a fantastic night for Orf. The Manatees' left fielder tied both a season and career-high by recording four hits and he also scored a run. Orf is now 8-for-13 in the series, all with his mother and other family members in attendance. Delmonico and Garfield also had two hits each.

With Saturday's loss, the Manatees are now officially eliminated from first-half playoff contention as they remain ten games behind Dunedin with nine games left to play.

Brevard County will look to get back on track on Saturday night as they wrap up their series with Bradenton at Space Coast Stadium, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. Winner of his last five decisions, Jorge Lopez (6-2, 3.00) will get the call for the 'Tees. Fellow righty and number three prospect in the Pirates' organization, according to Baseball America, Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 2.15) will oppose him.

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