Dunedin Pitching Staff Locks Up Brevard Manatees’ Bats In 6-1 Defeat
By Brevard County Manatees // July 3, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The Dunedin Blue Jays’ (3-5, 35-43 overall) strength was on display Thursday night as they rode an excellent performance from four pitchers to cruise to a 6-1 victory over the Brevard County Manatees (3-4, 32-44 overall) at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
The Blue Jay breakthrough came in the bottom of the third inning with two out. Anthony Alford worked a walk out of Manatees starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg.
Christian Lopes followed with a single that moved Alford to third. Rowdy Tellez would bring home the first run of the night for Dunedin on a single to right.
Dunedin’s success with timely hitting continued in the following, once again with the bases empty and two out. Emilio Guerrero kept the inning alive with a double to center.
Dickie Joe Thon followed with a base hit and then advanced to second as Clint Coulter’s throw to third was late. Jorge Saez walked to load the bases for Anthony Alford. He would clear the bases with a triple to right. Alford then came in to score when Hellweg threw a wild pitch with Lopes at the plate.
The Manatees’ lone bright spot of the night on offense came in the top of the sixth inning.
Omar Garcia would start it with a one-out walk and then stole second with Chris McFarland at the plate for his 29th stolen base of the season. McFarland then doubled to right but Garcia had to hold up at third base.
After a Michael Ratterree pop out, Coulter walked and on ball four, Blue Jays starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman threw a wild pitch, allowing Garcia to sprint home and put the ‘Tees on the board. The wild pitch would bring Hoffman’s night to an end.
However, Arik Sikula would retire Taylor Brennan on a flyout to center to keep Brevard County at bay.
The final tally for the Blue Jays would come in the bottom of the eighth with Stephen Peterson on the mound. Mitch Nay ripped a one-out double to right to set up L.B. Dantzler. He would ground out to third but Guerrero’s base hit to center brought home Nay to cap the scoring.
Hoffman, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, turned in a sharp start, giving up one run on 2 hits, striking out three and walking two while routinely throwing into the upper 90s over five and two-thirds innings of work.
Miguel Castro, who started the season in the Toronto bullpen, retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, four of them via strikeout as he reached as high as 100 MPH on the radar gun. Brady Dragmire recorded the final three outs to secure the win.
Hellweg made his longest start since joining the Manatees in his recovery from Tommy John Surgery, going five innings.
Over the length of the start, he gave up five runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out one. Peterson threw the final three innings, giving up just one run on two hits, striking out three while walking none.
The Manatees will look to earn the series win in the final game of their road trip on Friday night. RHP Jorge Ortega (6-4, 1.78 ERA) will be on the hill opposed by RHP Luis Santos (4-6, 5.15 ERA).
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.