Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miracle sweep way to West Division Championship

Alex Burnett

Dunedin 1 at Fort Myers 3

W: A. Burnett (1-0, 0.00); L: R. Gonzalez (0-1, 3.00); SV: A. Slama (2)
HR: None.

The Fort Myers Miracle swept the Dunedin Blue Jays 2-game to none to become the 2008 West Division Champions of the Florida State League Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.

Alex Burnett pitched what may well have been one of the best games of his career, limiting the Jays to only 2 hits and 3 walks over six innings while striking out 3.

The Miracle got on the board in the bottom of the second, with Whit Robbin doubling off Reider Gonzalez to start off. Edward Ovalle would go down on strikes, but Woodard singled to drive in Robbins. Following an Eli Tintor fly out, Woodard would steal 2nd base. Yancarlos Ortiz would draw a walk, and a wild pitch moved Woodard to 3rd. Juan Portes doubled to bring in Woodard and put Ortiz at 3rd, but Steve Singleton would ground out to end the inning.

Nathan Starner would replace Gonzalez in the bottom of the 7th for the Jays, and Ortiz would greet him with a single. He'd then steal second. Both Portes and Singleton would go down on strikes, but Rene Tosoni drew a walk, with a wild pitch advancing Ortiz to 3rd. Chad Blackwell would then trot out to the mound to try to hold the Miracle in check, but Wilson Ramos took a single off him to drive in Ortiz for the 3rd Miracle run.

Blair Erickson replaced Burnett in the top of the 7th. Jesus Gonzalez would reach on a throwing error by Portes in the top of the 8th, then move to 2nd as the ball went into the dugout. Adam Calderone singled Gonzalez in for the lone Dunedin run, as Luis Sanchez would ground into a double play, and Chris Emanuele would go down swinging.

Anthony Slama walked David Cooper in the 9th and allowed a single to Cory Patton, but with one out already on the board, he'd strike out Matt Liuzza and get Anthony Hatch to hit into a ground out to end the game.

Everyone except Rene Tosoni had a single for the Miracle, although T-Bone would draw a walk to get on base.

The Miracle will now wait on the outcome of the East Division series. In the conclusion of Tuesday's rain suspended game, the Daytona Cubs would pull out a 10-0 win courtesy of a six-run 8th inning. The series now shifts to Daytona for game two on Thursday and game three, if necessary, on Friday.

The East Division has home field advantage for the series, so the Miracle will host the first two games of the best-of-five championship series.

As with the Wednesday's game, free general admission tickets can be acquired at Lee and Collier County Racetrac locations. They tickets may be upgraded to a box seat for an additional $2.00 at the gate.

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