Manatees Snap Five-Game Skid with 8-2 Win
VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees were not afraid to employ small ball, as they scored six runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Tampa Yankees, 8-2 in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader at Space Coast Stadium.
Brevard County (24-24) pulled off a pair of successful safety squeezes, including one that scored the eventual game-winning run, as Parker Berberet pushed across the deciding run in the sixth.
With the game tied 2-2, the 'Tees had runners on the corners with one out. Berberet bunted toward first base and Mike Garza sprinted home. Yankees' first baseman Greg Bird fielded with his bare hand and delivered a backhand flip home, but Garza slid around the tag of catcher Trent Garrison to give Brevard County the lead.
The 'Tees added five more runs that inning on three consecutive RBI hits. Nathan Orf was the first to add insurance, as he grounded a sharp single up the middle with the bases loaded to score both Yadiel Rivera and Berberet.
Orlando Arcia was the next to deliver with an RBI double to score Jose Sermo. Tyrone Taylor followed that up with a two-run single, as Orf and Arcia scored on the base hit to give the 'Tees an 8-2 lead.
The Manatees had bunted twice in the fifth to take their first lead of the game. Brevard County entered the inning down 1-0, but rallied quickly with back-to-back singles by Rivera and Berberet. Sermo then dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position, respectively.
With Orf at the plate, Tampa's starting pitcher Chaz Hebert delivered a wild pitch that skipped to the right of Garrison. Rivera scored from third to tie the game, 1-1.
Orf then worked a walk that forced Hebert out of the game, as the Yankees (26-23) called on righty Kyle Haynes out of the bullpen. Arcia was the first man Haynes faced and the second baseman pushed a bunt toward first. Bird's only play was to first base, but his flip to Haynes was not in time to get Arcia. Berberet sprinted home from third and the Manatees took a 2-1 lead.
Tampa scored its first run in the first inning on a home run to right field by Cito Culver. The Yankees' other run was in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Dante Bichette, Jr., that plated Culver. However, Brevard County doubled off Bird at first on that sacrifice fly on double play that went from Orf to Rivera to Garza at first.
Austin Ross (3-0, 3.31 ERA) made his first start of the season for the 'Tees and picked up the win. He allowed two runs on four hits over six innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one.
The Manatees and Yankees will close out their three-game set on Sunday, beginning at 5:05 p.m. Southpaw Jed Bradley (4-2, 2.67) will get the nod for Brevard County and righty Rafael De Paula (1-1, 2.90) will start for Tampa.
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