Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miracle rally late to sweep Tigers

baseball,Fort Myers Miracle

Lakeland 9 at Fort Myers 10

Record 12 - 7

W: D. Vais (4-0, 0.69); L: F. Dolsi (0-1, 7.11)
HR: LAK: J. Justice (3). FTM: D. Santiesteban (2), J. Portes (1).

The Lakeland Flying Tigers bullpen suffered a power outage on Earth Day, allowing the Miracle bats to rally back to a 10-9 win Tuesday. It was the second straight home series sweep for the Fort Myers squad, who also took the series from Clearwater.

Shawn Roof, the son of former Rochester field manager Phil Roof, doubled in Ryan Stieby in the top of the 2nd inning to give the Tigers first blood. Roof would try to stretch to the play for a triple, and was taken out at 3rd.

In the bottom of the inning, Johnny Woodard would open with a double and Whit Robbins would follow one out later with a single. Danny Santieseban then launched one over the left field fence to give the Miracle a 3-1 lead.

Lakeland would answer back in the top of the 3rd with Justin Justice singling out to right, and Cale Iorg out to left. A fielding error by Juan Portes got Justice to 3d, and a Scott Sizemore sac fly brought him home. A wild pitch by southpaw Tyler Robertson then allowed Iorg to score, tying up the game.

The top of the six would prove profitable for the Tigers, when a pair of errors by Robbins, playing at 3rd allowed Brandon Timm and Jeramy Laster to both reach base. James Skelton then drew a walk off Robertson. This time the big lefty could not find the strikes, and allowed a single to Strieby to drive in two. Brennan Boesch would then ground into a force out before field manager Jeff Smith came in to take the laboring Robertson out of the game.

He'd be replaced by Matt Fox. The former first round pick allowed a single to Roof that brought in Skelton. Justin Jones then went yard over the right field wall to bring in 3 more, making it 9-3 Lakeland.

Tiger's starter Matt O'Brien had pitched a good game until then, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1. But Jordan Tata's appearance on the roster, and the mound, did not sit well with Lakeland, as Tata, who has been battling injuries, had trouble finding the strike zone. He'd issue a walk to Rene Tosoni, and would get Danny Valencia to pop out before giving free passes to Woodard and Portes. A sac-fly by Robbins to center field allowed Tosoni to score, while a double by Santiesteban brought in Woodard. Allan de San Miguel would draw a walk before Lakeland field manager Andy Barkett finally pulled the plug on Tata.

Ed Clelland would come in and promptly allowed Wilson Ramos to walk which brought in Portes and kept the bases loaded. Clelland then unleashed a wild pitch, which brought in Santiesteban and just like that, the Miracle were back in the game.

The home team would get within one in the bottom of the 7th, when Valencia doubled then scored on a Portes grounder to center. They threatened in the bottom of the 8th, with the speedy Santiesteban getting as far as 3rd, but Tosoni would strike out to end the inning, with a huge group groan from the 2-for-Tuesday crowd.

Woodard would single in the bottom of the 9th, and Portes would put one over the left field wall to give the Miracle 2, and the win.

Woodard and Santieseban were both 3-for-4 with a pair of runs each, Santiesteban with 4 RBIs. Portes was 2-for-4 with a walk, a pair of runs and 3 RBIs for the home town team.

Robertson would allow 7 runs on six hits and 3 walks while striking out only 3. Rob Delany and Danny Vais finished off the game.

With the win, the Miracle take sole possession of first place, after Dunedin lost their last two to the Sara-Reds. The Miracle now head out on the road for three in Tampa and three in Lakeland before returning home against Clearwater on Wednesday April 30th.

News Press
Take I-75 North

Missy, the Miracle mascot, recieved a makeover, going from furry to plush and getting a new white pinstriped uniform. I can't say the change is for the better, but your children may have a different opinion.

Manny accosted me for missing a couple of games last week while I was down win a sinus infection. Then the rookies found me and got on my case for not going out to see them play. It's nice to know I'm missed when I'm not around. (Your milage may vary.)

Danny Berlind suffered the loss as the Beloit Snappers fell to the West Michigan Whitecaps 5-3. Mark Dolenc and Chris Cates were both 3-for-3 for the Snappers, Dolenc with 1 run and 1 RBI and Cates with 1 RBI.

In New Britain, Reading posted an 11 - 9 win as Jay Rainville suffered his 2nd loss of the season, allowing 10 runs on 13 hits while striking out 1 over 3.2 innings. Dustin Martin was 2-for-3 with a run for the Rock Cats; Steve Tolleson was 2-for-4 with a walk, a run, and a RBI, and Luke Hughes, Brock Peterson and EriK Lis were all 2-for-5. Hughes smashed his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot in the 3rd inning off Fabio Castro.

The Red Wings had the night off. Tim Lahey joined the club after pitching for the Miracle Monday night. Righty Zach Day was activated from the DL and assigned to the Miracle to take his place. Danny Graves was promoted to Double A New Britain as well.

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