Wild Pitch In Extra-Innings Dooms Manatees Against Daytona 2-1
By Brevard County Manatees // May 4, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – A weekend series that was defined by the Daytona Tortugas (16-8) finding ways to win in tough spots ended in appropriate fashion on Sunday night as the Tortugas scored a walk-off 2-1 victory over the Brevard County Manatees (10-13) in 10 innings on a wild pitch.
Both teams would get runners on in the opening innings but neither team produced a genuine threat until Daytona came to the plate in the bottom of the third inning.
The Tortugas two-out rally would begin with a double to center by Alex Blandino.
He would be brought home shortly after that on a Sebastian Elizalde double to right. Elizalde would be stranded by Wei-Chung Wang when he got Chad Wallach to ground out to first.
The Manatees would erase the deficit quickly in the following inning.
The frame would start on a Taylor Brennan single to right, who then moved up to second when Clint Coulter followed with a base hit of his own. Following a strikeout of Victor Roache, the ‘Tees would then get their lone run of the game when Garrett Cooper singled to left and Brennan was able to lunge around Joe Hudson’s tag at the plate.
The inning would come to a close after that when Paul Eshleman grounded into an around the horn double play.
The next true scoring threat would come in the bottom of the seventh inning with Manatee reliever Tristan Archer just entered the game. It would start with a base hit to left by Carlton Daal.
After Nick Benedetto struck out trying to bunt his way on base, Archer appeared to have Daal picked off but he would be called for a balk, awarding Daal second base. Phillip Ervin then hit a deep drive to the gap in right center that Omar Garcia ran down, leading Daal to tag up for third. It appeared he wanted to try to score on the play but ‘Tugas manager Eli Marrero signaled for Daal to slam on the brakes when he saw the relay throw and Daal just made it back to third base around Brennan’s tag. T
he bullet would be dodged when Archer got Blandino to ground out to third to end the inning.
Archer would allow baserunners in the eighth and ninth innings but neither would advance past first base. Daytona relievers Nolan Becker and Jimmy Moran were equal to the task, which would bring the game to extra innings.
Brevard County looked poised to go ahead in the top of the 10th when Cameron Garfield singled to left to lead off and then Angel Ortega bunted his way on, just beating Hudson’s throw to first. After Garcia struck out trying to bunt, Moran would give way for Evan Mitchell (2-0, 4.82 ERA).
He would strike out Chris McFarland and Brennan to keep the game tied and give Daytona a chance to win it.
The ‘Tugas would get an ideal start to the inning when Blandino drew a leadoff walk against new Manatee reliever Stephen Peterson (2-1, 2.53 ERA). He would be forced out at second on a grounder by Elizalde. Wallach would move Elizalde over when he grounded out to third, which brought Taylor Sparks to the plate.
While he was at the plate, Garfield would block a pitch up the third base line and Elizalde took the gamble of going for third. Garfield’s throw was in time, but Brennan could not complete the tag and the Tortugas were now 90 feet away from a win. Peterson would walk Sparks, which gave Hudson the opportunity to decide it.
However, it wound up being out of his hands as Peterson’s pitch went to the backstop, Elizalde sprinted home and Daytona had earned a series win.
Wang had a solid start against a strong Daytona lineup for the second time this season, giving up one run on six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out five in a no-decision.
Daytona starter Sal Romano gave up one run in six innings of work as well, surrendering five hits while walking three and striking out five.
Mitchell would be rewarded for his work in escaping the top of the 10th with his second win of the season.
The Manatees now travel to Clearwater, where they’ll begin a three-game series with the Threshers on Monday at 7 P.M. at Bright House Field.
RHP Brandon Woodruff (0-1, 6.89 ERA) gets the start for Brevard County against RHP Mark Leiter (1-0, 1.80 ERA).