Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Miracle overcome error to Rally past Threshers

Johnny Woodard
Johnny Woodard

Clearwater 5 at Fort Myers 8

Record: 6 - 6

W: D. Vais (2-0, 0.00); L: A. Cruse (0-3, 10.29); SV: A. Slama (2)
HR: FTM: J. Woodard (3).

Botched fielding in the 3rd inning allowed the Clearwater Threshers to take a 2 run lead which they carried through most of the game. But a four run 7th inning saw Fort Myers tie up the game and take the lead back on a chilly night in Southwest Florida.

With game time temperatures dipping to 65, Jeff Manship took to the mound, making short work of the first three batters he faced. Brian Dinkelman would walk to start the bottom of the inning. Following a fly out to Juan Portes, Rene Tosoni drew a walk off Clearwater starter Darren Byrd. The Pensacola native was probably no more used to the cool weather than the crowd in the stands. He next surrendered a ground ball single to Johnny Woodard, which allowed Dinkelman to score. An Edward Ovalle single drove in Tosoni, and Woodard came in on Danny Santiesteban's line drive to left. Catcher Allan de San Miguel would hit into a force out though to end the inning.

The three run lead though did not last past the 3rd inning. Fidel Hernandez singled his way onto base, and following a pop up to Quintin Berry, moved to second on a Carlos Leon line drive. Adrian Cardenas lined out, but Gus Miller singled out to right to bring in Hernandez. Matthew Spencer spanked a ball into right field to bring in Leon. It looked the Miracle would protect their lead however, when Tuffy Gosewisch hit a pop up that Manship should have caught, except that Woodard came barreling in from first base, only to move Manship off the catch and then miss the ball. Milner scored with the 3rd out lying on the field. John Urick hit a fly ball to right that brought in Spencer and Gosewisch before Welinson Baez was called out on strikes.

It was 2-for-Tuesday and I thought perhaps we could both Whit and Woodard in together at first. "That wasn't a really good play," Tyler said in somewhat of an understatement. "It sometimes happens."

Manship lasted only one more inning, his final total being 5 runs (2 earned) on six hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Danny Vais would take over for the next three, as temps continued to drop in the face of the 17 mph wind from left. (And the gift shop is out of sweatshirts and blankets.)

Fort Myers lead off the bottom of the 5th with singles from Portes, Tosoni and Valencia to give the Miracle one more run.

Clearwater would bring reliever Andy Cruse in for the sixth inning, but his trouble would come in the seventh, when Woodard homered out to right to tie up the game with 2 outs on the board. Edward Ovalle then drew a walk before Daniel Brauer came in to replace Cruse. Santiesteban greeted him with walk. Wilson Ramos replaced de San Miguel in the line up, drawing a walk to load the bases. Clearwater then tried Samuel Walls on the mound, who allowed a walk to Ortiz to force in the go ahead run. Dinkelman's double drove in two for the insurance runs before Portes would strike out swinging to end a nightmare inning for the defensing FSL Championship Threshers.

Anthony Slama would work 2 inning, picking up his 2nd save of the season.

Ovalle was 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk, a run, and an RBI. Woodard, who is hitting .243 on the season, was 2-for-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI's.

While Toby Gardenhire does lead the Miracle in batting average, among the regular players Rene Tosoni (10 games) and Brian Dinkelman (11 games) lead the Miracle, both batting over the .300 mark.

New Press

No comments: