Sunday’s series finale at Fort Myers did not go well for the Brevard County Manatees. Miracle starting pitcher Aaron Slegers went the distance in a 4-0 shutout, delighting the 1,504 fans in attendance at CenturyLink Sports Complex.
Slegers allowed three singles over his 100 pitch outing, striking out nine and walking none. He did not have a three ball count against any hitter. That said, Brevard County did mount a threat in the first couple innings.
Omar Garcia was hit by a pitch leading off the top of the first. He quickly stole second before Chris McFarland struck out. With Clint Coulter at the plate, he successfully swiped third. Unfortunately, he was left stranded as Coulter went down on strikes and Victor Roache grounded out.
After the Miracle went down in order in the first against Manatees starter Eric Marzec, the Manatees threatened again in the second inning. Garrett Cooper singled with one out and got into scoring position one out later when Rafael Neda singled. The inning ended shortly thereafter, when Angel Ortega grounded into a fielder’s choice and Neda was erased at second.
Fort Myers (22-22) got their offense going in the second inning. Nico Goodrum drew a one out walk, stole second and scored easily on a two out single by Marcus Knecht, giving the Miracle a 1-0 lead. They would add two runs in the third against Marzec. Tanner Vavara and Zach Granite hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and were moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Walker. Alex Swim brought them both home with a single to center, extending the lead to 3-0.
Brevard County (18-25) tried one more time in the sixth to get to Slegers. McFarland reached when Slegers fielded the ball, but then made an errant throw to first. A wild pitch with Coulter batting, moved McFarland to second. Coulter ended up flying out and Roache followed with a ground out to end the inning.
That would be the last, best chance for the Manatees who managed just one more hit, a ninth inning single by Roache. McFarland, who started the day with a seven game hitting streak, went 0-for-4 in Sunday’s game, with two strikeouts.
Marzec (0-2) did finish the sixth for Brevard County. He allowed just four hits, but they were timely for the Miracle. He struck out four and walked one. Clint Terry came in to pitch the final two innings and allowed a run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four.
For more info: Brevard County @ Fort Myers boxscore
The Manatees will be glad to leave Fort Myers, where they scored three runs in four games and were shutout twice. After an off day on Monday, the team returns to Brevard County to host the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Tuesday’s series opener will start at 6:35 p.m. Wei-Chung Wang (2-1, 5.82 ERA) will be on the mound for the Manatees.