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Johnson two-hits Clearwater, as 'Tees win 1-0

August 9, 2014 - Florida State League (FSL) - Brevard County Manatees News Release

VIERA, Fla. - Brevard County Manatees starter Hobbs Johnson carried a no-hitter into the sixth and finished the evening with a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Clearwater Threshers in game one of Saturday's doubleheader at Space Coast Stadium.

After rain delayed the start of the game by an hour and 42 minutes, Johnson (11-7, 2.86 ERA) struggled with his control early. He walked three batters in the first three innings; however, thanks to a pickoff and a double play ball he only faced one over the minimum.

Brevard's (22-23 second half, 58-53 overall) southpaw then went on a tear. After a leadoff walk in the third, Johnson retired 10 in-a-row before he yielded his first hit of the game.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Johnson left a pitch over the plate and Anthony Phillips slapped it into center field for a base-hit.

Coincidentally, the first hit Johnson allowed came at the same point of the game Mike Strong surrendered his first hit when he carried a perfect game into the sixth in game two of a doubleheader on Wednesday night in Tampa.

Johnson's complete game shutout was also the first thrown by a Manatee pitcher since Damien Magnifico - Saturday's game two starter - tossed a nine-inning, complete game, two-hit shutout in Jupiter on May 19.

The Threshers (21-28, 38-79) would tally a second hit - a two out single by Brian Pointer in the seventh - but that was all. Johnson induced the next hitter - Harold Martinez - to ground into a game ending fielder's choice to short to complete his first career complete game.

A 14th round draft pick out of North Carolina a year ago, Johnson finished his complete game with two hits and three walks allowed while striking out five.

In the process, Johnson tied teammate Tyler Wagner and Bradenton's Chad Kuhl for the most wins in the Florida State League with 11.

Brevard pushed across the only run they would need against Clearwater starter Colin Kleven (5-9, 4.48) in the bottom of the third.

Garrett Cooper started the frame with a bizarre double. On the first pitch of the inning, he popped a ball up into shallow right field. Second baseman Angelo Mora went out, while right fielder Brian Pointer came in. Neither took charge and stared at each other, as the ball plopped in between them. Cooper hustled all the way and ended up at second base.

The next batter - Brandon Macias - followed with a single to left, but ran into trouble on the base paths. With the throw in from Brandon Short headed towards the plate, Macias broke for second.

First baseman Art Charles cut off the ball and threw on to second base to put the former Kansas Jayhawk in a run down. Macias was tagged out heading back to first base for the first out of the inning.

Nathan Orf then came through with the biggest hit of game one. On a 1-2 pitch, the Manatees' lead-off hitter smacked a single into right field. Cooper came across to score to give Brevard the lead, 1-0.

That was the only run Kleven would allow. The Clearwater righty would toss a complete game of his own, as he yielded five hits, walked three and struck out six over six innings.

Of the five hits allowed Kleven, two were for extra bases. Besides Cooper's third inning double, Tyrone Taylor clocked his FSL-best 36th double of the year in the sixth inning.

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