The Brevard County Manatees traveled to Daytona Wednesday night to complete the home-at-home series against the Tortugas, with a doubleheader consisting of two seven inning games. Daytona hit a home run in each game and went on to sweep the doubleheader, 4-0 and 3-0.
Daytona starter Amir Garrett was dominant on the mound, pitching a complete game shutout and earning his ninth win of the season. Garrett did not walk a batter and struck out six. On the other side, Wei-Chung Wang (9-5) got a complete game for the ‘Tees, but fell to 9-6 on the season. He walked one and struck out five. Daytona (32-19, 69-52 overall) got on the board early, scoring one in the top of the first against Wang. Carlton Daal singled to start the inning and came home one out later on a single by Phillip Ervin. The home team added to their lead in the fourth when Taylor Sparks tripled home Joe Hudson, who walked to lead off the inning.
Sparks dealt Wang a blow in the bottom of the sixth. Joe Hudson hit a one out double and Sparks followed with his 12th home run of the year, giving the Tortugas a 4-0 lead. Sparks went 3-for-3 with a triple and the home run. He had three RBI. Omar Garcia, Dustin Houle, Rafael Neda and Angel Ortega all had singles for the Manatees. Sparks was the only hitter on either side to have a multi-hit game.
For more info: Brevard County @ Daytona boxscore (game 1)
Game two got off to a bit of a scary start. Manatees’ starter Zach Hirsch hit Daal with a pitch to start the game. The ball got Daal in the face and he was removed from the game after a lengthy delay. Wendell Soto entered the game to run for Daal and was moved to second on a Junior Arias single. After Ervin reached on an error to load the bases, Sparks hit a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. The sac fly turned into a double play, when Ervin was thrown out at second. Sebastian Elizalde’s RBI single scored Arias, to make it a 2-0 game.
Arias gave the Tortugas a 3-0 lead with his ninth home run of the season, in the top of the second. Ortega got the Manatees first hit against Tortugas starter Seth Varner, a double in the third inning. Garrett Cooper hit his 31st two-bagger of the season in the fourth. Brevard County came up empty in both frames.
Varner pitched five shutout innings of shutout ball for Daytona, allowing only the two hits. He walked one and struck out six. El’Hajj Muhammad came on to start the sixth for the Tortugas and gave up a single to Clint Coulter. One out later, Jose Pena hit a grounder that looked like it was going to result in an easy double play. Instead, Sparks throw to second was wild and Coulter got to third. That brought the tying run to the plate, but Paul Eshleman flied out to end the inning.
Hirsch, who pitched a complete game for the Manatees took the loss. He settled down after that shaky first inning, but didn’t get any help from the Brevard County offense. Hirsch gave up six hits, walked one and struck out four.
For more info: Brevard County @ Daytona boxscore (game 2)
Brevard County (22-29, 51-69) will travel to Clearwater tomorrow to start a series against the Threshers. Cy Sneed (3-2, 2.60 ERA) will pitch against Threshers hurler Yacksel Rios (5-3, 3.03 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.