Gomez Blast Propels Manatees Past Tampa
By Brevard County Manatees // July 5, 2012
Series Continues Tonight
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Late-inning fireworks skyrocketed the Brevard County Manatees to victory over the Tampa Yankees in a Florida State League baseball game on Independence Day.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Hector Gomez’s solo shot broke a 4-4 tie as Brevard County edged Tampa 5-4 in front of a jam-packed Space Coast Stadium on the 4th of July.
Andy Moye started for the ‘Tees (8-5 second half, 37-44 overall) and gave up three runs in six innings of work in his third consecutive quality start. He walked three and tied a season-high with five strikeouts.
Moye was in line for the loss as Tampa’s Kyle Roller hit a two-run homer off in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie and give the Yanks (7-6, 37-43) a 3-1 lead.
Brevard started a rally in the bottom of the sixth that started with a Nick Shaw single and a Jason Rogers walk which chased Tampa start Matt Tracy from the game. Sean Black came in and walked Brock Kjeldgaard to load the bases.
Cody Hawn then singled to center to plate Shaw and cut Tampa’s lead to 3-2. RBI-groundouts by Gomez and Joey Paciorek gave the Manatees a 4-3 lead to close out six innings of play.
Brian Garman relieved Moye in the seventh and threw a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts, but led the eighth inning off with a walk to Slade Heathcott. After back-to-back strikeouts, Garman exited the game in favor of Brevard’s closer Casey Medlen.
Heathcott would steal second with Zach Wilson at the dish and then take third on a missed catch error by Gomez on the throw down by Paciorek. Wilson then drove in Heathcott with a single to left field to tie the game.
Gomez would redeem himself in the bottom of the frame with two outs, as he took the 1-0 offering from Black and crushed it over the left center to give Brevard County a 5-4 lead.
Medlen returned to the mound for the ninth and retired the side and sent the Brevard County crowd into a frenzy as the ‘Tees opened their six-game homestand with a win.
Brevard County and Tampa will continue their three-game series at 6:35 tonight at Space Coast Stadium.
Drew Gagnon will make his second start for the Manatees.
In his first start, Gagnon got a win against Tampa last Saturday as he struck out five in six innings. Tampa will counter with southpaw Nik Turley (3-3, 3.61).