Daytona 5 at Fort Myers 1
W: J. Latham (1-0, 0.00); L: C. Gutierrez (0-1, 13.50)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (2).
Matt Fox pitched an absolutely incredible game for six innings, scattering 3 hits and a pair of walks and striking out an astounding 10 batters. But unfortunately, the bullpen could not match his performance.
Carlos Gutierrez would get Carlos Canzier to strike out swinging to start his shift in the seventh, but Steve Clevenger, Ryan Harvey and Jonathan Mota all took singles off the Miami native, scoring Clevenger to tie up the contest. A throwing error on a pick off attempt would put Harvey over the plate, putting the Cubs on top. After Darwin Barney ground out, Tony Thomas tripled off the sink-ball throwing rookie, bringing Mota home. Jeff Smith would get Jose Lugo out of the bullpen at that point, and the Dominican hurler walked James Adduci before getting Ty Wright to ground into a force out, retiring the Cubs.
Rene Tosoni would launch a solo shot home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth for the Miracle. Despite out hitting the Cubs through the first six innings, it would be all that they would manage to get over the plate off the Daytona team.
Lugo would work a solid 8th inning, but despite a single to Juan Portes, the Fort Myers Miracle could not come up with a Miracle to even up the score. David Shinskie replaced Lugo in the top of the 9th. Harvey would go down on strikes, but Mota and Barney both singled. Thomas' sack bunt scored Mota and moved Barney to 2nd. Adduci would single which, combined with a throwing error by Yancarlos Ortiz, scored Barney making it 5-1 Cubs.
Whit Robbins would single off closer Brian Schlitter in the 9th, but Wilson Ramos, Edward Ovalle and Johnny Woodard all went down on strikes to end the contest in the Cubbies' favor.
Tosoni would go 2-for-3 at the plate with walk, a run and a RBI but he could not provide all the offense by himself. Portes was 2-for-4 with Steve Singleton, Ramos and Robbins all chipping in with singles and finishing off the contest 1-for-4 as one hit wonders. Ovalle, Woodard and Eli Tintor all drew walks, but were otherwise "0-fer" - the first two being 0-for-3 with Tint going 0-for-2.
Not the sort of thing that the Miracle would like to see. They will attempt to bounce back against the hard hitting Cubs Sunday evening at 7:05 for game two of the Florida State League Finals. Cole Devries (1-0, 0.00) will get the nod to take the mound for the Miracle, while the Cubs send up right-hander Jay Jackson (0-0, 0.00) out to counter.
Sunday's contest is the last game at The Bill, as the series reverts to Jackie Robinson Stadium for Monday's match up.
When the Marlins faced the Cubs in post season play in 2003, one of the radio stations in the area held a ceremony in which a stuffed "Cub" was impaled on the bill of the 50 foot Marlin out in front of Grey's Taxidermy off I-90. Anyone know where we can acquire a big bill fish at so we can impale a cub of our own at The Bill?
Daytona has a speedway, but Lee and Collier Counties have four Racetrac locations where you can go to get free general admission tickets to the Hammond Stadium for the playoff games on Sunday. Don't forget to plan a pit stop at Racetrac on your way to the Bill Sunday night!