Roache Goes Deep Thrice in 11-5 Win over Threshers
VIERA, Fla. - Victor Roache delivered a massive power surge for the Brevard County Manatees with three home runs in his first three at-bats, en route to an 11-5 win over the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday evening at Space Coast Stadium. Roache became the first player in franchise history to hit three homers in a single game.
Roache launched his first homer as the leadoff batter of the second inning. He drilled an offering from Clearwater starting pitcher Miguel Nunez over the tall wall in right-center field, just to the right of the center field batter's eye. His second long ball came in the fourth inning. This time, the power hitter deposited a long fly ball over the left field wall and onto the berm deck.
Brevard's left fielder stepped up to the plate for the third time with Cameron Garfield on second base in the fifth inning. Roache's third at-bat produced the same result as the first two. He lifted a ball well over the left-center field fence, past the flagpoles for his third home run of the game.
Roache finished the game 3-for-3 with four RBI and a walk. He did have a chance to add to his home run total in the seventh inning.
Brevard (16-13) had runners on second and third with just one out and Roache worked himself into a 3-0 count, but the Threshers (5-22) decided to stay as far away from Roache's bat as possible. They tossed an intentional fourth ball and the left fielder did not have another plate appearance.
With Roache's help, the Manatees jumped out to a 9-1 lead over Clearwater. Michael Reed also got in on the action with his second home run of the season in the first inning. Brandon Macias, Tyrone Taylor and Garfield also delivered run-scoring doubles to expand the lead. However, the 'Tees almost let the eight-run advantage slip away.
Clearwater rallied for four runs in the sixth inning against Brevard starting pitcher Jorge Lopez (3-2, 5.14 ERA). Art Charles and Gabriel Lino came through with the big hits. The pair produced back-to-back two-run singles, but the Threshers could not complete the comeback.
After the treacherous sixth, Brevard made a call to the bullpen and brought in southpaw Mike Strong. Clearwater had no answer for the lefty, who struck out seven batters through three scoreless innings. Strong struck out the side in the ninth to complete the save. He only allowed one base runner in his entire outing, when he hit a batter to lead off the ninth.
Strong's save helped Lopez secure his third win of the season. He pitched six innings and allowed five runs on six hits. Lopez struck out six Threshers hitters and walked one.
Brevard County is now 4-0 against Clearwater this season and the teams will continue their series on Monday night at 6:35 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium. Left-hander Hobbs Johnson (2-3, 2.33) is expected to start for the Manatees against Threshers' lefty Ethan Stewart (1-2, 3.18).
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