Manatees Explode For 14 Runs Against Flying Tigers, Brevard Defeats Lakeland 14-0
By Brevard County Manatees // May 31, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Manatees (21-27) have leaned on their pitching staff over the last week to give them a chance to win.
On Saturday night, their offense did their part and then some in a 14-0 rout of the Lakeland Flying Tigers (23-25) at Space Coast Stadium.
The game’s deciding inning came in the bottom of the second, which started when Victor Roache was in the hit shoulder by a pitch from Flying Tigers starting pitcher Jonathan Maciel.
Taylor Brennan then followed with a hustle double to right centerfield. Garrett Cooper produced the first run of the Manatee onslaught with a single to left.
Steven Halcomb then reached base when Flying Tiger second baseman Tyler Hanover made a throwing error on a groundball.
Brevard County continued to play it station to station when Angel Ortega singled to center, bringing in Cooper.
Omar Garcia then loaded the bases when he bunted his way aboard. Following a Chris McFarland strikeout, Jonathan Lucroy drove in Halcomb on a fly ball to left center that Flying Tiger left field Raph Rhymes missed on a diving attempt.
After Clint Coulter a strikeout, Victor Roache concluded his second at-bat of the inning with a two-run single to right for the two runs of the inning.
The ‘Tees would push one across in the bottom of the third thanks in part to Lakeland shortstop David Gonzalez, whose throw to first went wide, allowing Ortega to advance to second with two outs.
That error would prove costly as Garcia doubled down the right field line to score Ortega.
Brevard County would wipe out any thought of a Lakeland come back in their next turn at bat.
After Lucroy grounded out to short to start the inning, Coulter walked and came around to score on a double by Taylor Brennan.
Then, in a play that seemed to encapsulate the night for both teams, Maciel struck out Cooper, but the ball got by Flying Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner, allowing Cooper to reach, Roache to score and bring Maciel’s night to a close.
After reliever Nate Fury induced a flyout from Halcomb, Ortega then plated Brennan on an infield single as Lakeland third baseman Francisco Martinez had trouble getting the ball out of his glove.
Garcia capped the inning with a base hit to center to score Cooper before Ortega got caught in a rundown to end the inning.
The game turned surreal in the bottom of the eighth when the Flying Tigers, in an attempt to save a bullpen that had been overworked during the week, sent Martinez to pitch. Coulter immediately greeted him with a double to deep left center. After a flyout by Roache, Martinez walked Brennan and Cooper.
With the bases loaded, Martinez then hit Halcomb on the elbow to bring home Coulter. Ortega continued the carousel with a flare into right to score Brennan.
After Garcia popped out, Chris McFarland slapped a base hit between first and second to score Cooper with the 14th and final run of the night.
All told, every Manatee recorded a hit and they batted the order twice, something they had done only three times all season.
Garcia and Ortega both recorded five-hit games; Brennan and Roache logged two-hit games. Halcomb, Garcia, Ortega and Roache had multi-RBI games with Ortega chief among them with three.
The offense’s outburst overshadowed another outstanding performance by the pitching staff. Eric Marzec had his best start of the season, giving up just three hits in six shutout innings.
The trio of Marzec, Clint Terry and Manny Barreda combined to prevent a Lakeland baserunner from reaching third base.
The Manatees will look to keep building on the momentum of the last three games on Sunday at 5:05 P.M. as LHP Wei-Chung Wang (2-2, 6.39 ERA) takes to the mound against fellow left-hander Ryan Longstreth (2-3, 3.66 ERA).