The Brevard County Manatees were their own worst enemy on Saturday night, committing three errors that led to all three Fort Myers Miracle runs in a 3-1 Manatees loss at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers.
The Manatees (18-24) got on the board first in the top of the second against Fort Myers starter Kohl Stewart. Garrett Cooper doubled with two outs and was plated by birthday boy Cameron Garfield, when he drilled a single to right, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
‘Tees starter Jorge Ortega deserved a better fate over his five innings of work, but his defense let him down. He gave up three hits and struck out two, without issuing a walk. Unfortunately, the three errors in two different innings that led to the unearned runs and his ultimate undoing.
The trouble started in the bottom of the second frame when Chad Christensen hit a ball that Steven Halcomb couldn’t handle at the hot corner. One out later, Ortega attempted to pick Christensen off, but the throw hit him in the shoulder and allowed him to go to second. Bryan Haar singled Christensen home to tie things up at one. Ryan Walker followed with a single, but Ortega worked out of further trouble.
Although the Manatees were held off the board for the rest of the game, Chris McFarland provided a highlight in the third when he singled with two outs, extending his hitting streak to seven games. It was one of only five hits the Manatees had in the contest.
The Miracle (21-22) took advantage of another error in the fourth inning, coming up with their final two runs. With one out, Christensen hit one to Angel Ortega at shortstop that Ortega couldn’t handle. After Niko Goodrum flew out, Haar came through again with an RBI double, making it 2-1, Haar went to third on the throw home. He took an easy stroll home moments later, when Ortega balked and the Miracle were up 3-1.
Tristan Archer took over for Ortega in the fifth inning and allowed just two hits in three innings of work. He walked one and struck out four.
Brandon Peterson took over on the mound for Stewart in the seventh, giving up a hit and walking one. J.T. Chargois came in to pitch the ninth and he was throwing heat. He hit 99 on the radar gun twice and 100 MPH once. He sent the Manatees down in order and nailed down the victory.
For more info: Brevard County @ Fort Myers boxscore
The Manatees will look to gain the series split on Sunday, when these two teams play the final game of the series at 4:05 p.m.