Fort Myers 2 at Dunedin 1
W: C. Devries (1-0, 0.00); L: B. Mills (0-1, 2.57); SV: A. Slama (1)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (1). DUN: M. Liuzza (1).
For the first time in Fort Myers Miracle playoff history, the Miracle took a win against the Dunedin Blue Jays - on the road.
In 2003 and 2006, the Miracle won one against the Jays, but in each year, it was within the friendly confines of Hammond Stadium. The Miracle will still need to do that, at least once, to progress to the best of five Florida State League finals round.
Juan Portes opened things up in the first with a single. Following a pop out by Steve Singleton, Rene Tosoni took a Brad Mills pitch over the right field wall to give the Miracle two.
Cole Devries would do the rest, scattering five hits and a pair of walks over 6.2 innings while fanning 3.
The Jays would not get a man past second until the bottom of the fifth, when Chris Emanuele made it to 3rd with two men out, but Brad Emaus flew out to send the Jays back on defense.
Carlos Gutierrez would work the next 1.1 innings, allowing only 1 hit and strikeing out 2 to bring the Miracle to the bottom of the ninth.
They would turn to closer Anthony Slama to slam the door on the Jays, but Matthew Liuzza had other plans, putting one over the right field wall to put the Jays on the board, ending the shut out bid. Anthony Hatch would single before Marcos Cabral went down on strikes. Emanuele then singled, moving Hatch to second, and putting the tying runner in scoring position with only one out on the board. But Slama would induce Luis Sanchez to hit into a double play, ending the contest.
The bus ride will be a little bit nicer for the Miracle as they come home to Hammond, where they will face the Jays on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary) to determine the Western Divsion Champion.
Alex Burnett (8-6, 3.76) will get the nod on the mound against Dunedin’s Ray Gonzalez (12-4, 3.14).
Tosoni finished off the night 2-for-2 with a pair of walks to go with his yarder. Whit Robbins was 2-for-4 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Aside from Portes, who was 1-for-4 on the night with a run, Wilson Ramos and Eli Tintor hit one single each for the Miracle.
The Jays swept their playoff series against the Miracle in 2000, and won, 2-games-to-1 in 2003 and 2006.
General Admission Tickets to Wednesday's playoff game are available free at Lee and Collier county Racetracs. Tickets can be upgraded to a box seat for just $2.00.
Game one between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Daytona Cubs was suspended due to rain with the Cards leading 4-0 at the top of the fifth inning. It will be resumed tomorrow in West Palm Beach. The series will then shift over to Daytona for game two on Thursday (Cubs.
According to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the Cincinnati Reds have not committed to playing in either the FSL or the GCL for the 2009 season. 2009 will be their last year in Ed Smith Stadium, they will be moving to Goodyear, Arizona, after the taxpayers of Sarasota County voted down funding to renovate their 20-year old Spring Training facilities. That throws in a new glitch into the already complicated FSL Divisional problem, which started when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays partnered with Ripken Baseball to purchase the former FSL Dodgers franchise, moving it to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season.
Matt Tolbert and Jose Mijares were the only two former Miracle players to receive September call ups to the major league Twins. The other five players added to the Twins were infielder Matt Macri, pitchers Bobby Korecky and Phil Humber, outfielder Jason Pridie and catcher Ryan Jorgensen.
The Miracle were selected to receive the Florida State League’s Municipality Award Tuesday. The award is given each season to the best city or county operated Sports Turf Crew. It’s the ninth time since 1990 that Hammond Stadium crew manager Keith Blasingim's staff has won the award, voted on by field managers, pitching coaches and umpires.