Brevard County Holds On To Defeat St. Lucie

By  //  July 19, 2012

Manatees Face Palm Beach In Viera Tonight

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Manatees jumped out to an 8-1 and held on to defeat the St. Lucie Mets, 9-7 on Wednesday night at Digital Domain Park.

Closer Casey Medlen recorded his 13th save of the year for the Brevard Coutny Manatees on Wednesday night. (Image courtesy Brevard County Manatees)

The win gave the Manatees a series victory over the first half South division champs, as they took three of four from the Mets.

Brevard (15-11 second half, 44-50) jumped all over the Mets right out of the gate as they scored five in the first inning as St. Lucie (11-16, 60-35) starter Chase Huchingson lasted just 2/3 of an inning. Nick Shaw led off the game by reaching first on an error and then back-to-back singles by Shea Vucinich and Jason Rogers loaded the bases.

Mike Walker was then hit by a pitch as Shaw scored. Brock Kjeldgaard then singled to drive in Vucinich to give Brevard a 2-0 lead, with the bases still loaded with no outs. After Hector Gomez struck out swinging, a wild pitch by Huchingson allowed Rogers to score. Reggie Keen then drew a walk to load the bases once again.

Joey Paciorek was then hit by a pitch to give the Manatees a 4-0 lead. John Dishon grounded into a force out to score Kjeldgaard as the ‘Tees took a commanding 5-0 lead. Brevard batted around in the frame as Shaw stepped up to the plate and reached on Huchingson’s third hit by pitch of the inning. Kyle Allen relieved Huchingson and got out of the inning by forcing Vucinich to fly out to first.

The Mets would get one run back in the bottom of the first off of ‘Tees starting pitcher Jed Bradley (5-7, 5.01), but Brevard plated three in the third to take an 8-1 lead. Gomez led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch and then back-to-back singles from Keen and Paciorek loaded the bases for Brevard.

Double steal

Dishon then grounded into a force out that scored Gomez. With Nick Shaw at the plate, Brevard was able to successfully execute a double steal that saw Keen steal home for the second run of the inning and Dishon swipe second. Dishon then stole third and would score as Vucinich reached on an error by shortstop T.J. Rivera.

The 8-1 cushion looked to be enough for Bradley, but he allowed a two-run homer to Richard Lucas in the fourth to make it an 8-3 game and then ran into some more trouble in the fifth.

Cory Vaughn led off the fifth for the Mets with a double and then Blake Forsythe singled to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch by Bradley allowed Forsythe to move to second and then a ground out by Aderlin Rodriguez plated Vaughn to cut Brevard’s lead to 8-4.

Two batters later, Lucas singled up the middle to drive in Forsythe to make it 8-5 and then Rivera would single up the middle to put runners on first and second with one out. Bradley’s night would end following back-to-back RBI hits as Alonzo Harris doubled and Daniel Muno singled to make it just a one run game.

Bradley allowed a season-high seven earned runs on 11 hits in just 4.2 innings of work. He tied a season-high by walking four and struck out four. Thomas Keeling came in for Bradley with runners on the corners and two outs, but was able to end the inning by striking out Mike Baxter.

From that point on, Brevard County’s bullpen took control of the game as Keeling threw 2.1 scoreless innings and Alan Williams pitched a scoreless eighth.

Insurance run

The Manatees plated an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Dishon drove in Keen with a bunt single to make it 9-7. Dishon drove in three runs and stole three bases in the win.

Casey Medlen came on in the ninth to close out the game and after walking Rafael Fernandez and having the tying run step to the plate; Medlen retired the side in order for his 13th save of the season.

Brevard County will return home to Space Coast Stadium in Viera to open up a four-game series with the Palm Beach Cardinals (13-14, 44-50), beginning Thursday at 6:35 p.m.

Brooks Hall (3-3, 4.07) will take the mound for the ‘Tees. Hall is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last four starts. Palm Beach will counter with Drew Benes (4-6, 4.81).