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Long Balls Lead Mussels to Doubleheader Sweep of Cards

September 9, 2021 - Florida State League (FSL) - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels News Release

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Mighty Mussels clobbered three home runs Thursday, mashing their way to a doubleheader sweep of the Palm Beach Cardinals at Hammond Stadium.

All three home runs recorded exit velocities over 100 mph and cleared the fence by healthy margins.

Game 1 was a nine-inning game that was suspended in the fourth inning with the Mussels (55-52) leading 3-2. With two outs and the bases loaded, Fort Myers manager Brian Meyer elected to pinch hit with Patrick Winkel. Winkel rewarded his manager, stroking an RBI single to left on the seventh pitch of the at bat.

The next batter was Jake Rucker, who shot a base hit up the middle to extend the lead to 6-2.

Palm Beach (33-75) battled back when right fielder Ryan Holgate clubbed a three-run home run to right to make it 6-5. Still trailing by that margin in the top of the eighth, Osvaldo Tovalin singled. With two outs, Mike Antico ripped a double down the right field line to tie the game at 6-6.

After Cardinals reliever Edwin Nunez (3-3) retired the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth, Alerick Soularie pummeled a solo home run to left to win the game for Fort Myers.

Lefty reliever Juan Pichardo worked a scoreless ninth inning, stranding the tying run at third.

In Game 2, the Mussels bat broke out in the bottom of the third. After a walk and a single, Charles Mack cranked a long three-run shot to center to give Fort Myers a 3-0 lead. Two batters later, Will Holland demolished a homer to the power alley in left center. The next hitter was Kyler Fedko, who reached on an infield hit. Mikey Perez followed with an RBI double down the left field line to cap the inning at 5-0 Fort Myers.

The Mighty Mussels tacked on three more runs in the fifth on RBI hits from Holland and Soularie.

Leading 8-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Holland and Willie Joe Garry Jr. added two more RBI singles for good measure - capping a lopsided 11-2 victory.

Fort Myers right-hander Casey Legumina (4-2) was brilliant on the mound - surrendering just one run on two hits over 5.2 innings. Legumina has worked to a miniscule 1.11 ERA over his last six outings.

Perez has now begun his professional career 7-for-10 with two extra-base hits, three walks and 5 RBI (1.869 OPS). The UCLA product was selected in the 15th round of this year's draft.

The Mussels bid for the series win at 7 p.m. on Friday. Cade Povich (0-0, 3.00) makes the start for the Mussels, with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.

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