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Manatees Drop Opener on Walk-Off to Stone Crabs

June 1, 2014 - Florida State League (FSL) - Brevard County Manatees News Release

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Walk-off losses have been all too common for the Brevard County Manatees in 2014, as they suffered their fifth such defeat in a 3-2 loss against the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Saturday night at Charlotte Sports Park.

The Stone Crabs set up the game-winning hit with a rally against Chad Pierce. Kes Carter led off the inning with a ground ball single through the right side and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake DePew.

Josh Sale worked a walk, but with first base open, that simply set up a potential inning-ending double play. The 'Tees were looking for a ground ball and got one off the bat of Marty Gantt, but the grounder was to the wrong spot.

Gantt hit a roller to deep shortstop and Yadiel Rivera made a sliding stop in the hole and threw to second base. The throw was barely late and all runners reached safely to load the bases. That opened the door for Jonathan Quinonez who drilled a single back up the middle to win the game.

Brevard County (28-26) had overcome a 2-0 deficit earlier in the game. With one out in the sixth, Nicky Delmonico hit a soft flair to shallow right field that dunked in over the glove of the third baseman, Quinonez. Delmonico tried to stretch the hit into a double and Quinonez made an attempt to throw him out. However, the throw skipped away from second baseman Tommy Coyle and Delmonico hustled to third.

The 'Tees had their chance to cut into the lead, with a runner 90 feet from home for the first time in the game. Stone Crabs' starting pitcher Austin Pruitt was almost able to work out of the jam. He induced a ground out to third for the second out, but catcher Justin O'Conner gave Brevard a break.

Delmonico led off of third with two outs and Rivera at the plate. Pruitt delivered a pitch high and O'Conner could not hold on. The ball skipped to the backstop and Delmonico scampered home with the Manatees' first run and made it a 2-1 game

The following inning, Nathan Orf delivered a big two-out hit - his third of the night - to tie the game. Mike Garza had singled to lead off the inning, but the next two Brevard hitters struck out and flied out. Orf came through with a double down the left field line to score Garza with the tying run.

Charlotte (26-27) scored its first two runs off Manatees' starting pitcher Damien Magnifico in the third and fourth. In the third, Gantt worked a one-out walk and Coyle chopped a ground ball up the middle that barely snuck through that scored Gantt with the first run of the ballgame. Patrick Leonard led off the next inning with a solo homer to left field.

Magnifico (3-4, 2.39 ERA) went five innings and allowed the two runs on three hits, while walking one and striking out three.

Brevard County will get another shot at the Stone Crabs on Sunday night at Charlotte Sports Park, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The Manatees will send Jorge Lopez (6-2, 3.17) to the hill against Charlotte's Reinaldo Lopez (3-2, 3.98).

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