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Tigers nip ‘Tees, 4-1 in series finale

August 28, 2014 - Florida State League (FSL) - Brevard County Manatees News Release

VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees' four-game win streak was snapped on Thursday night, as they fell to the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 4-1 at Space Coast Stadium.

Brevard County (35-31 second half, 71-61 overall) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but Lakeland (20-47, 62-72) pushed across a run in every inning from the fourth through the seventh to emerge with a 4-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the third, Brevard County jumped out in front thanks to a defensive miscue by the Flying Tigers. Garrett Cooper led off the frame with a double off the wall in center and Brandon Macias followed with a single to left to put runners at first and third with nobody out.

Nathan Orf was then hit by his Florida State League-leading 22nd pitch to load the bases. After Orlando Arcia popped up to second, Parker Berberet stepped in. After a first pitch ball, Lakeland catcher Austin Green made a snap throw to first to try and pick off Orf. His throw was wild and it skipped past first baseman James Robbins and up the line. Everyone moved up a base, as Cooper scored to give the 'Tees the lead, 1-0.

Berberet walked to re-load the bases, but the Manatees could not push another run across. Lakeland's starter Micah Kellogg (0-1, 2.70 ERA) forced Victor Roache to foul out to first and got Alfredo Rodriguez to fly out to right to end the threat.

Lakeland came right back to knot the game up in the top of the fourth. With one out, Green made up for his errant throw with a towering blast onto the berm in left. The solo home run was his 15th of the season and it tied the game at one.

Curt Powell gave the Flying Tigers the lead for good in the next frame. Jared Reaves led off the fifth with a single to center and advanced to second on a groundout to short by Chad Wright. With two down, Powell grounded a single into center field. Orf, who was playing center for the first time all year, threw high to plate. As the ball went to the backstop, Reaves scored from second to give Lakeland the lead, 2-1.

In the sixth, Jeff McVaney started with a triple down the right field line. Connor Harrell then ripped a double off the wall in right-center to score McVaney to make it 3-1, Lakeland.

That blow chased Manatees starter Taylor Williams (1-2, 4.26) from the ballgame. The right-hander's yielded three runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

Lakeland pushed across its final run against Brevard County reliever Scott Lieser in the seventh. The right-hander issued a lead-off walk to Wright, who subsequently stole second base. After a sacrifice bunt by Curt Powell advanced the runner to third, Lakeland utilized a suicide squeeze.

With Wright breaking from third, Tyler Hanover laid down a perfect bunt towards the first base side. Lieser's only play was to first base and the run scored to push Lakeland's advantage to 4-1.

That was the only run Lieser would allow in an effective relief outing for the 'Tees. The Browerville, Minn. native allowed just one run without giving up a hit. Lieser also walked one and punched out one.

Brevard County brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh and eighth innings, but could not scratch a run across. Orf walked and Arcia singled to spark a two-out rally in the seventh, but Berberet lined out to center to end the threat. In the eighth, Cooper flew out to right after singles by Rodriguez and Greg Hopkins.

Kellogg only went three innings in his start for Lakeland. The right-hander allowed just one run on three hits and walked one. Left-hander Tyler Ford picked up his first FSL win, as he surrendered just one hit and struck out three over three shutout frames. 2013 draftee, Scott Sitz, picked up his eighth save with the Flying Tigers. The former Florida State Seminole scattered two hits in two scoreless innings to close out the game.

Six out of nine Manatees picked up hits in defeat. Hopkins led the offense with a 2-for-4 performance at plate. The two base-knocks tied his season-high in Brevard County.

FSL Post-Season All-Star Tyler Wagner (13-6, 1.91) will get the start for the Manatees tomorrow night, as they start their final series of 2014 against the Dunedin Blue Jays (30-36, 76-59) at Space Coast Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Fellow Post-Season All-Star Taylor Cole (8-8, 3.12) gets the start for the first-half North Division champion Blue Jays.

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