Molina Walk-Off Home Run Is Lights out for Jupiter
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nelson Molina rocketed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Fort Myers Miracle (24-16) a wild 4-3 win over the Jupiter Hammerheads (24-15) on Thursday night. The win snapped Jupiter's nine-game winning streak.
This wild game had a little bit of everything. For starters, LHP Glen Perkins began the night with a scoreless first inning of rehab work. The lefty retired all three batters he faced including a strikeout of Mason Davis.
Miracle starter RHP Brady Anderson and Hammerheads' starter RHP Merandy Gonzalez each tossed five innings of one-run ball to keep their teams in the game. The Miracle struck first when Brandon Lopez came in on a Gonzalez wild pitch in the fifth. Jupiter answered back in the sixth after Anderson allowed a triple to Davis followed by a Colby Lusignan sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the sixth, the game was at its tipping point with the bases loaded and two outs in a 1-1 game when the light stanchion in left-centerfield went out, causing a 22-minute delay. Once play resumed, Brent Rooker checked his swing on a pitch that rolled to the backstop. Mitchell Kranson raced home from third and tapped home. Only then did the appeal move to the field umpire Ricardo Estrada who said Rooker went around, ending the inning without a run on the board.
The Miracle re-took the lead in the seventh with a pair of runs. They loaded the bases against RHP Lukas Schiraldi when Kranson lifted a sac fly to center to score Jaylin Davis. Molina then came in on Jupiter's third wild pitch of the night to give the Miracle a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the eighth, Jupiter plated the first earned runs against LHP Andrew Vasquez's FSL season. An infield single was followed by a hit batter and a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Davis and Lusignan each sent a groundball to first base to score a run and tie the game at three, but Vasquez struck out John Silviano to strand Corey Bird at third.
After a scoreless top of the ninth from RHP Alex Muren (W, 1-2), Molina led off the bottom of the inning with a solo laser that ricocheted off the drink rail seating in right field. Molina raced around the bases with his arm raised high as he handed Jupiter and RHP Felipe Gonzalez (L, 8-8) the loss.
The two teams are back in action at 7:05 PM ET on Friday night with LHP Lewis Thorpe opposing RHP Ben Meyer on Public Service Appreciation night. All teachers and government officials will receive half price tickets at the box office with a valid ID.
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