Six-Run Second Inning Holds Up In 11-7 Win
JUPITER, Fla. - The Miracle scored six runs in the second inning, Zach Neff tossed 3.2 perfect innings in relief, and Fort Myers held on to beat Jupiter on Friday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, 11-7.
Neff (1-0), just called up from Low-A Cedar Rapids, was summoned with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth. The Miracle led at the time, 8-7, and Neff induced a 6-4-3 double play grounder off the bat of Micah Brown to end the threat. The left-hander struck out four. He threw 35 pitches, 28 for strikes.
Jordan Holloway (2-4) started for Jupiter and needed only eight pitches to retire the Miracle in the first. In the second, however, the first eight batters reached and Holloway could not escape the inning. He issued three consecutive walks at one point, including two with the bases loaded.
Ryan Jeffers, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, started the big rally with a single into center on an 0-2 hanging breaking ball. Trey Cabbage brought home the first run with a booming RBI double off the center field wall. Ernie De La Trinidad, Ryan Costello, Gabriel Maciel, Royce Lewis, and Jeffers all picked up runs batted in.
Jupiter kept fighting back, but never was able to catch the Miracle. The Hammerheads scored a pair in the bottom of the second and two more in the third on Jerar Encarnacion's second home run in as many games. After the Miracle went up 8-4 in the fourth on a two-run single by Jeffers, the Hammerheads responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to get within one. Jhonny Santos and Micah Brown had back-to-back RBI doubles. Victor Victor Mesa delivered a sacrifice fly.
The Miracle added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning on a two-run double by Trevor Larnach. It was his league-leading 23rd double of the season. De La Trinidad brought home another run in the ninth with an RBI single.
After Neff departed, Alex Phillips pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out two to preserve the win. Miracle starter Tyler Watson struggled, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. He took a no-decision.
Seven of nine Miracle starters recorded a hit and five delivered multi-hit games. Fort Myers was 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and is 14-for-31 in the first two games of the series.
The four-game series continues on Saturday night in Jupiter. Right-hander Jordan Balazovic will start for the Miracle. First pitch is 5:30 p.m. ET.
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Florida State League Stories from June 21, 2019
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