Clint Coulter and Garrett Cooper hit back-to-back home runs for the second time in less than a week Saturday, helping the Brevard County Manatees to a 5-1 victory over the Clearwater Threshers in the rubber game of their three game series at Bright House Field.
Brevard County starter Javi Salas (8-8) was locked in a scoreless duel with Clearwater starter Victor Arano (4-12) for three innings, before the Manatees offense kicked into gear with the back-to-back jacks from Coulter and Cooper. For Coulter, it was his 13th of the season and Cooper smacked his eighth, giving the Manatees a 2-0 lead. The duo went back-to-back on Monday at Daytona, leading to a 3-0 ‘Tees victory in game one of a doubleheader.
Clearwater (34-22, 71-55) scored their only run of the night in the fifth inning. Derek Campbell singled to start the inning and went to third on a double by Jesmuel Valentin. One out later, Dylan Cozens plated Campbell with a groundout to first.
Salas got the first out in the sixth, before Willians Astudillo and Aaron Brown were both hit by Salas’ pitches. He bounced back nicely though, striking out Mitch Walding and Campbell to end the inning. With that, Salas completed six innings, giving up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out five.
The Manatees (24-30, 53-70) added to their lead with a run in the seventh. Cooper and Neda started the inning with consecutive singles. One out later, Michael Ratterree singled home Cooper, but Neda was thrown out trying to get to third. Ratterree went to second on the throw and the Manatees led 3-1. Steven Halcomb kept the inning going with a single to right, but Ratterree was thrown out at the plate by Cozens, to end the inning.
Arano exited after the seventh. He gave up three runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out four. The two home runs he allowed were the difference in the game. On the other side, Trevor Seidenberger was called on in the seventh to take over for Salas.
Miguel Nunez took over for Arano in the eighth. The Manatees got to him in the ninth, adding two more runs to their side of the ledger. Cooper was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Nunez came back to strike out the next two hitters, but after Ratterree walked, Steven Halcomb smoked a two-run triple to left, giving the Manatees a 5-1 lead. Halcomb kept running, trying to score behind Ratterree, but was out at the plate.
Seidenberger allowed a walk in the ninth inning, but the Threshers were held off the board and Seidenberger nailed down his fifth save of the year. He allowed two hits in three innings, walking one and striking out two.
For more info: Brevard County @ Clearwater boxscore
The Manatees road trip continues Sunday, as they go to Lakeland to start a three-game series. Jorge Ortega (9-8, 2.48 ERA) will get the start for the ‘Tees. Lakeland will counter with Trent Szkutnik (1-4, 6.75 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.