Manatees Fall 6-4 in Series Finale to Stone Crabs
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Though they climbed out of an early hole, the Brevard County Manatees could not overcome the Charlotte Stone Crabs in a 6-4 loss on Tuesday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
After the teams traded runs in the first four innings, Brevard County (29-28) and Charlotte (28-28) were tied at 4-4. That score held until the sixth when the Stone Crabs took the lead and did not look back.
Charlotte's Patrick Leonard led off the inning with a walk and Justin O'Conner singled to put runners on the corners. With one out, Kes Carter delivered the go-ahead run against Manatees' starting pitcher Tyler Wagner, as his sacrifice fly put the Stone Crabs ahead, 5-4.
Marty Gantt gave the Stone Crabs insurance the next inning. Gantt led off the seventh with a solo shot off of Jose De La Torre, to give Charlotte a 6-4 lead.
The Manatees had their chances, but could not capitalize. Perhaps their best opportunity was taken away from them by the right fielder Gantt on a stellar defensive play in the sixth.
With the game still tied, Nicky Delmonico led off of third and Yadiel Rivera was at the plate with two outs. Rivera roped a shot down the right field line, but Gantt sprinted over and made a diving catch to end the inning.
After the Stone Crabs took their 5-4 lead, the 'Tees had another chance to tie or take the lead in the seventh. Orlando Arcia hit a one-out single and Tyrone Taylor walked, then both runners moved up to on a soft ground ball back to the pitcher. Brevard had runners on second and third with two outs, but Charlotte reliever Parker Markel struck out Michael Reed to end the inning.
The 'Tees later brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but nothing came of it. Arcia ripped a two-out double to right-center against Ryan Garton. That brought Taylor to the plate, but Garton induced a game-ending pop-out to record his second save of the season.
Wagner (4-4, 2.29 ERA) was saddled with the loss. He allowed five runs - four earned - over 5.2 innings of work. Wagner surrendered seven hits, walked three and struck out two.
Despite the loss, Arcia had a spectacular day at the plate. The second baseman finished with four hits in five trips to the plate. He homered, doubled, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice.
The 'Tees dropped three out of four in Port Charlotte, and will return home for a four-game series against the Bradenton Marauders (30-28), beginning on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. Austin Ross (4-0, 2.95) is the scheduled to get the start for Brevard County against John Kuchno (3-4, 4.09) for the Marauders.
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