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Miracle Score Three in the Ninth in Remarkable Walk-Off Win

June 16, 2015 - Florida State League (FSL) - Fort Myers Miracle News Release

FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 16, 2015) - The Fort Myers Miracle completed an improbable two-run comeback by scoring three unearned runs with no hits in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Daytona Tortugas, 5-4, and walk off at Hammond Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Tortugas brought a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning and Daytona reliever El-Hajj Muhammad retired the first two Miracle hitters on six pitches. Down to a final out, Muhammad (4-5) struck Tanner Vavra with a 1-0 pitch to give the Miracle a base-runner. Engelb Vielma then hit a routine grounder that Alex Blandino booted to keep the inning alive and put runners at first and second.

Muhammad then struggled to find the strikezone and walked Zack Granite. With the bases loaded, Muhammad continued to struggle with his command and issued a free pass to Alex Swim that drove in a run.

With Daytona's lead at 4-3, Tortugas manager Eli Marrero went to the bullpen and brought in reliever Alejandro Chacin to face Marcus Knecht. On a 1-1 pitch, Knecht hit a slow roller to the pitcher. Chacin gloved the ball cleanly, but threw a one-hop change up to first base that bounced in the dirt and was bobbled by first baseman Robert Ramirez. While Chacin was making his throw, Vielma crossed home plate and Granite continued to chug around the bases. By the time Ramirez grabbed the ball, Knecht was safe at first and Granite scored to send the Miracle to a scintillating 5-4 victory.

Matt Summers earned the win after giving up one run in the top of the ninth. Summers (1-1) surrendered a two-out RBI single to Blandino that pushed the Tortuga lead to 4-2.

The Miracle scored in the first inning to take an early advantage. Tortugas starter Amir Garrett started off the inning by issuing a walk to Vielma. Granite then laid down a bunt single. With runners at first and second, Swim slashed a 2-0 base hit into left field and Vielma raced home to put the Miracle up 1-0.

Vielma extended the Miracle lead to two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Michael Quesada led off with a double into left field off Garrett. Then, Tanner Vavra laid down a bunt to move Quesada to third. A throwing error by Garrett allowed Vavra to reach, but then Tanner ran into an out trying to sneak up to second after the play calmed down. Vielma then sent a 1-0 pitch far enough into left center to drive in Quesada and build a 2-0 lead.

After five scoreless frames from Miracle starter Ryan Eades, the Tortugas got a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Carlton Daal reached on an infield single to second and then trotted home on a two-run homer from Phillip Ervin. Eades' first pitch was a hanging breaking ball and Ervin launched his 10th home run of the season to knot the game, 2-2.

Daytona took the lead in the seventh off Eades. After a single to right from Joe Hudson, Jeff Gelalitch moved the runner to second on a sacrifice bunt. Daal then smacked a ground rule double into left center field and Gelalitch scored to give the Tortugas a 3-2 advantage.

Eades left the game after 6.1 innings in a no decision with three runs allowed on eights, no walks and seven strikeouts.

The Miracle (33-32) return to Hammond Stadium on Wednesday night for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch against Daytona (37-28). The Miracle are celebrating the residents and business of Sanibel and Captiva with Islands Night. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and there will be a pregame parade around the warning track. For tickets and information, visit www.miraclebaseball.com or call (239) 768-4210.


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