For the second straight day, the Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers were involved in a pitchers’ duel. On Sunday, Lakeland came away with a 1-0 win and Monday, the Manatees came back with a 2-1 victory.
Brandon Woodruff (4-5) has pitched well of late for the Manatees and continued that trend Monday, picking up his third consecutive win. He threw seven innings of four hit baseball, allowing one run, walking one and striking out seven Flying Tigers.
The Manatees (25-31, 54-71 overall) got on the board first Monday night against Tigers’ starter Jonathan Maciel. Chris McFarland and Clint Coulter hit back-to-back one out doubles in the top of the first, making it a 1-0 lead for the visitors. Maciel limited the damage, striking out Garrett Cooper and Taylor Brennan to end the inning, stranding Coulter at second.
Lakeland (48-75) answered with a run in the bottom of the second. Curt Powell singled with one out and went to second on a Ben Verlander double. Jared Reaves sacrifice fly, tied the game at one.
Brevard County threatened again in the fourth. Rafael Neda was hit by a pitch with one out in the inning. After a fly out by Michael Ratterree, Steven Halcomb singled to right, moving Neda to third. Angel Ortega stepped up with an RBI 90-feet away, but popped out harmlessly to end the inning.
Maciel went six innings and like Woodruff, allowed one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out four. Julio Felix (3-5) relieved Maciel in the seventh frame and the ‘Tees took no time at all, taking advantage of the pitching change.
Felix started by issuing a walk to Ratterree. Halcomb then stepped up and did his job, laying down a bunt and moving Ratterree to second. Ortega came through with a single to center, staking the Manatees to a 2-1 lead. With McFarland and Garcia both retired following the Ortega RBI, Brevard County could not add to the lead, but as it turns out, it didn’t matter.
Tyler Spurlin took over for Woodruff in the eighth and pitched two innings of scoreless relief. The only hit he allowed came off the bat of Powell, with two outs in the ninth. For Spurlin, it was his second save of the season.
Each team had five hits in the game. For the Flying Tigers, Powell and Verlander had two each. The top of the Manatees lineup, consisting of Garcia, McFarland and Coulter had one knock each. Halcomb and Ortega had the only other hits.
For more info: Brevard County @ Lakeland boxscore
These two teams play the rubber game of this series Tuesday night at Joker Marchant Stadium. Wei-Chung Wang (9-5, 3.75 ERA) will take the mound for the Manatees. The Flying Tigers will counter with Kevin Ziomek (7-10, 3.70 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.