Manatees Split Doubleheader with Cubs
Daytona's four-run first dooms Manatees
Viera, FL - The Brevard County Manatees fell behind early and could not rally back, as they lost to the Daytona Cubs in game one of Thursday's doubleheader at Space Coast Stadium, 6-2.
Daytona (30-20 second half, 56-62 overall) rallied for four runs in the first against Manatees starter Hobbs Johnson . Jacob Hanneman led off the game with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a pair of walks to Dan Vogelbach and Rock Shoulders loaded the bases, Billy McKinney cleared the bags with a three-run double. Ben Carhart wasted no time in driving in a run of his own, as he ripped an RBI single to score McKinney and give Daytona a 4-0 lead.
McKinney helped the Cubs tack on another run in the top of the third. With one out, Shoulders drilled a line drive to left-center field and raced to third for a triple. McKinney came up next and lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Shoulders to push Daytona's advantage to 5-0.
Brevard County (24-26, 60-56) began to chip away at its deficit in the bottom of the third. Brandon Macias slammed a one-out double and scored the Manatees' first run on an RBI single by Nathan Orf . After Orlando Arcia worked a walk, Tyrone Taylor singled up the middle to score Orf and trim the Cubs' lead to 5-2.
The Cubs added another run on a wild pitch in the fourth. After Johnson loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks, Martin Viramontes came in from the bullpen and threw a pitch that skipped past catcher Cameron Garfield . Gioskar Amaya scored from third to add to Daytona's lead and make the score, 6-2.
Johnson (11-8, 3.21 ERA) took his first loss in four starts. The left-hander was charged with all six Cubs runs over 3.1 innings of work. He allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out a pair.
Cubs starter Jose Rosario earned the win. Rosario (5-7. 5.50 ERA) pitched five innings and allowed two runs on five hits. The righty walked two and struck out three.
Viramontes did not factor in the decision, but he pitched well in relief for Brevard County. He pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, in which he did not allow a hit. Viramontes struck out a season-high six men and walked two.
Strong spins first career complete game in 2-1 win
VIERA, Fla. - Mike Strong lifted the Brevard County Manatees to victory with his first career complete game in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader, as the 'Tees defeated the Daytona Cubs, 2-1 at Space Coast Stadium.
Strong (2-1, 2.33 ERA) allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings. The southpaw fell one strikeout short of a season-high with eight and walked just one man. Strong's victory was his first as a starter in four attempts this season.
The Manatees' starting pitcher was particularly solid from the second inning until the final out. After an RBI single by Bijan Rademacher gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead with one out in the second, Strong rattled off a streak of 5.2 hitless innings that ended when he struck out Wes Darvill for the final out of the game.
Brevard County (25-26 second half, 61-56 overall) gave Strong all of the run support he needed in the bottom of the third with a little bit of timely hitting and a little bit of good fortune. With the 'Tees trailing by one run, Garrett Cooper reached first on a throwing error by shortstop Marco Hernandez and Greg Hopkins singled to put runners on first and second with nobody out.
Jose Sermo sacrifice bunted the runners into scoring position and Nathan Orf came to the dish with a chance to put the Manatees ahead with one swing. Daytona (30-21, 56-63) pulled the infield in and Orf hit a ground ball to shortstop. Hernandez tried to throw home, but the ball sailed past catcher Wilson Contreras and Cooper scored to tie the game.
After Cooper scored, the play was not over. Orf took a wide turn around first base and Contreras saw a chance to catch the runner in a pickle between first and second. Contreras picked up the ball and threw to Wes Darvill, but the second baseman fumbled the throw. Hopkins, who had moved up to third base while all of this was going on, sprinted home and scored on Darvill's error. By the time the dust settled, the Manatees had claimed a 2-1 lead.
Once the 'Tees pulled ahead, Strong took care of the rest. The left-hander's victory meant Justin Amlung was saddled with the loss. Amlung (3-4, 4.89 ERA) allowed both Brevard County runs, but both were unearned because of the errors by the Cubs' middle infield. The right-hander surrendered seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
The Manatees and Cubs split the doubleheader in the final meeting between the I-95 rivals. Brevard County finished the season with a 12-8 record against Daytona.
The 'Tees will hit the road for a three-game series at the Dunedin Blue Jays on Friday. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Damien Magnifico (8-6, 3.74 ERA) is scheduled to start for Brevard County against Ben White (5-6, 5.13 ERA).
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Florida State League Stories from August 14, 2014
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