Self-Inflicted Errors Cost Manatees Against Clearwater, Fall 6-2

By  //  May 20, 2015

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The Brevard County Manatees (16-22) had a hand in their undoing on Tuesday, committing four errors in a 6-2 loss to the Clearwater Threshers (19-20) at Space Coast Stadium. (Dennis Greenblatt/Hawk-Eye Sports Photography)

BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Manatees (16-22) had a hand in their undoing on Tuesday, committing four errors in a 6-2 loss to the Clearwater Threshers (19-20) at Space Coast Stadium.

The Threshers seized the initiative in the opening frame, led by Andrew Knapp’s double to left off of Manatees starting pitcher Eric Marzec.

Dylan Cozens followed with a base hit to center, which brought home Knapp for the game’s first run.

One of the game’s biggest moments came in the bottom of the second inning. Garrett Cooper appeared to have legged out a one-out single to third, but was out ruled by the umpire when he was tagged by Willians Astudillo returning to the bag, claiming that Cooper had made the turn towards second base. Cooper and manager Joe Ayrault would be ejected for their protests.

Clearwater continued to flex their muscle in the top of the third when Andrew Pullin crushed a two-run home run to right, his third of the season, to make it 3-0.

The homer was Pullin’s only hit of the game but it continues his success against the ‘Tees this season. In five games against Brevard County, Pullin is hitting .286 with three extra base hits and five RBI.

The Manatees would manufacture in a run in the bottom of the fourth, which got started when Clint Coulter was hit by a pitch for the eighth time this season. That was followed by a walk to Victor Roache.

Both runners advanced a base when Rafael Neda sacrificed.

Paul Eshleman
Paul Eshleman

Paul Eshleman followed with a single to right, which scored Coulter for the first Manatees run but Eshleman would get caught in a rundown between first and second when the relay throw home was cut off.

Threshers starting pitcher Colin Kleven would escape further damage when he struck out Steven Halcomb to end the inning.

The game from a Brevard County perspective could be best summarized by the events in the top of the fifth inning. Knapp would reach when a ground ball went through Halcomb’s legs.

Cozens then came to the plate and hit a ball to right that Coulter missed while attempting to make a sliding catch. That would put two runners in scoring position for Astudillo, who obliged with a sacrifice fly to left to plate Knapp.

Following a strikeout by Aaron Brown, Angelo Mora’s base hit to center would score Cozens, who had stolen third.

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The Threshers would tack on one more run in the sixth without the benefit of a base hit. Chase Harris walked to start the inning and then attempted to steal second with one out and Pullin at the plate. Eshleman’s throw went over second and into centerfield, where the ball was overrun by Omar Garcia.

Those two errors allowed Harris to score all the way from first to make it 6-1.

On a positive note for the ‘Tees, relievers Stephen Peterson and Scott Lieser did not allow another base runner for the remainder of the game.

Brevard County salvaged a final run in the bottom of the eighth, which started with a Garcia base hit.

Chris McFarland
Chris McFarland

Chris McFarland singled to right, which moved Garcia to second. It was the 49th hit of the season for McFarland, making him the leader in the Florida State League in that category. A wild pitch by Clearwater reliever Edubray Ramos then moved both runners up a base.

After a Taylor Brennan strikeout, Coulter hit a sacrifice fly to right to score McFarland, his 27th RBI of the season. The inning then came to a close when Roache struck out swinging. The Manatees then went down in order in the bottom of the ninth against Cody Forsythe.

Kleven (3-2, 4.11 ERA) bounced back from a rain-shortened start last Friday by pitching six innings, giving up just one run on six hits, striking out five while walking one to earn the win.

Marzec (0-1, 6.75 ERA) went four innings in his first start of the season with the Manatees, surrendering three runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out three.

Both teams will have to bounce back quickly as they play an Education Day game on Wednesday at 10:35 A.M. LHP Wei-Chung Wang (1-1, 5.88 ERA) will get the start against RHP Victor Arano (0-4, 6.12 ERA).

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