The Brevard County Manatees got back-to-back sixth inning home runs from Clint Coulter and Garrett Cooper in game one of Monday’s double-header at Daytona, leading to a 3-0 win over the Tortugas in game one of a doubleheader. Game two, which was scheduled to start 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one, was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up Wednesday, as part of a doubleheader, beginning at 5:05 p.m.
Coulter and Cooper took care of the offense and starting pitcher Jorge Ortega (9-8) took care of the rest, pitching his fifth complete game of the season. The Manatees media department tweeted after the game that Ortega tied a franchise record for complete games, originally set by Tim Dillard in 2005.
Daytona starter Jackson Stephens (12-6) gave up the first hit of the game in the top of the third to Manatees’ catcher Rafael Neda. Ortega returned the favor in the bottom of the third, when Daytona put together their best threat of the game. Ronald Bueno led off with a single. He went to third one out later, when Brian O’Grady singled. With Wendell Soto batting, Neda threw to Steven Halcomb, who was at short. He cut the throw off and quickly threw back to Neda at home and Bueno was out at the plate. O’Grady was safe at second, but was stranded there when Soto was caught looking, to end the inning.
Brevard County (21-27, 50-67 overall) got on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Taylor Brennan singled to open the inning and would steal second two outs later, with Michael Ratterree batting. Ratterree would eventually draw a walk, bring Halcomb to the plate. Halcomb, who played a big part in keeping Daytona off the board in the third, got the Manatees on the board with an RBI double. The Manatees added on in the sixth when Coulter and Cooper went back-to-back. For Coulter, it was his 12th homer of the season and first since July 3, when he hit one in the top of the first inning of a 12-4 loss to Dunedin. Cooper’s homer came on the very next pitch, after Coulter’s bomb on Monday.
Ortega finished off the seven-inning complete game with a season-high seven strikeouts and no walks. The Manatees had six hits in the ballgame, two coming off the bat of Neda. Omar Garcia, who was hit in the chin by a pitch in the Manatees loss to Daytona on Sunday, was back in the lineup Monday and went 0-for-4.
The Manatees return home tomorrow night, to continue this home-at-home series with the Tortugas. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m.