'Tees Pitching Shuts Down Lakeland Again in 4-1 Win
LAKELAND, Fla. - The trio of Tyler Wagner, Austin Ross and Tommy Toledo surrendered just one run, four hits and struck out a season-high 11 men, as the Brevard County Manatees won their third straight game, 4-1 on Wednesday night over the Lakeland Flying Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Wagner (2-0, 0.87 ERA) set the tone early by striking out four of the first five men he faced. The starter only allowed three hits and struck out six through his 5.1 innings of work before handing the ball over to Ross.
The first man out of the Manatees' (5-1) bullpen entered with a man on and one out in the sixth, but quickly took care of the situation. Ross induced a ground ball back to the mound that he turned into a 1-6-3 double play to end the frame.
That grounder was the beginning of a solid outing from Ross. He retired all seven batters he faced in consecutive fashion, including four strikeouts to send the 'Tees to the ninth with a three-run lead.
Toledo took the ball in the ninth and effectively recorded his second save of the season. Though he allowed two runners to reach base with one out on a single and a walk, the closer polished off the final two batters to nail down the victory.
For the second straight game, the Manatees wasted little time attacking the Flying Tigers' (3-3) pitching staff. Left fielder Victor Roache scored the 'Tees first run in the top of the second inning and he did it on the basepaths.
With Roache on third, second baseman Yadiel Rivera took off from first base. When Lakeland catcher Drew Longley threw to second, Roache broke for home. Shortstop Dixon Machado cut off Longley's throw and fired home to try to get Roache, but he slid around the tag and touched home for the game's first run. Rivera scored later in the inning on a single by designated hitter Alfredo Rodriguez.
Brevard County needed only one man to score an insurance run in the third inning. Shortstop Orlando Arcia laced a two-out offering from Flying Tigers starter Edgar De La Rosa to the left center field gap. Arcia easily had a double, but tried to stretch the hit into a triple.
As Arcia slid into third base, the relay throw slipped under the glove of third baseman Tyler Hanover and rolled toward the third base dugout. That allowed Arcia to sprint home to give the 'Tees a 3-0 lead.
The Manatees added an insurance run in the ninth on a single by third baseman Brandon Macias - one of his three hits on the night - before Toledo shut the door in the ninth. With the win, Brevard County improves to 5-1 for the second time in three years.
Along with the three-hit night from Macias, Roache, Rivera and Tyrone Taylor had two hits each. For Taylor, his two hits were both doubles as he has already recorded seven two-baggers in just six games.
The 'Tees remain atop the Florida State League North Division heading into Thursday's series finale against Lakeland. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with righty Damien Magnifico (0-0, 1.59) due to pitch for Brevard County and southpaw Jordan John (1-0, 1.80) slated to toe the rubber for the Flying Tigers.
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