A blog on Florida State League Baseball, for the fans, by the fans.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Clearwater takes 2007 FSL Title

Brevard County 2 at Clearwater 5

W: A. Carpenter (2-0, 2.92); L: B. Wright (1-1, 4.91); SV: R. Hill (1)
HR: BRE: C. Errecart (2), Y. Perez (1). CLE: B. Harman (2), B. Burgamy (1).

Clearwater took Phinley's advice to "Eat more Seacow", downing the Brevard County Manatees 5-2 to take home the Florida State League crown.

Brian Burgamy walked and Brad Harman homered in the first inning to put the Threshers on the board. Jason Donald would reach on a throwing error, moving over to 2nd. Jeremy Slayden's fly out moved him to 3rd and with 2 outs, Jake Blalock's single would plate him.

Chris Errecart put a Andrew Carpenter pitch over the center field wall for the Manatees in the 4th, but the Threshers came roaring back in the bottom of the inning with a Burgamy yarder out to right and a Harman double. Josh Wahpepah would be brought in to replace Brae Wright on the mound, but he'd allow a singles to Jason Donald and Jeremy Slayden that would give the Threshers yet another run.

Yohannis Perez went yard out to left field in the top of the 7th, but that was as close as the Manatees would get.

Carpenter worked 6.1 innings giving up both Manatees runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8. Bear Hill would pick up the save allowing 2 hits and striking out 1 in 2.2 innings worth of work.

Wright took the loss for the Manatees, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1.

Thus ends a long and somewhat convoluted year of FSL baseball. Congratulations to the Clearwater Threshers and to the Manatees who hung in there through both parts of the season. It was a battle well fought by both teams.

What will happen in 2008 still remains to be seen.

Florida Today

Brevard takes win

Zac Stott

Brevard County 5 at Clearwater 4

W: M. McClendon (1-0, 6.75); L: Z. Stott (0-1, 40.50); SV: K. Roberts (1)
HR: BRE: M. Gamel (2). CLE: J. Slayden (1).

If at first you don't succeed, try again. It seems to be the Manatees motto as they came back from the brink of elimination to snatch a game from the Threshers at Brighthouse Network Fields.

Lorenzo Cain drew a walk to start the game. Matt Gamel followed that up with a double off Zac Stott that scored the Manatees lead off man. Cole Gellespie flew out, followed by a Michael Bell ground out that scored Gamel. Chris Errecart started things off again with a single, and was followed onto base by Ned Yost and Freddy Parejo, who knocked a line drive out to right to score Errecart. That would finish things up for Stott, with Alex Coneception taking the mound to get Ryan Barba to ground out to end the inning.

The Thresher took one run back in the bottom of the inning when Jeremy Slayden doubled Brad Harman in.

But undaunted, the Manatees added two more points in the second inning when Nestor Corredor singled his way onto the bags, then was plated by Gamel's home run.

Brevard would see little after that, with Corredor getting as far as 3rd in the 4th inning and Cain doubling in the 7th. They just hung on and hoped and played defense, while the Threshers chipped away at their lead.

Jake Blalock's double in the bottom of the 3rd brought in Lou Marson. Slayden homered in the 5th, while 3 walks and a force out brought P.J. Antoniato home in the ninth. Brevard County's Kevin Roberts got Slayden to strike out swinging to end the game, leaving the Manatees alive for a little while longer.

Brevard County starter Mike McClendon (1-0) allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking three over five innings to pick up the win. Ben Stanczyk gave up a run on a hit and two walks, striking out one over 3 1/3 frames.

The two teams rematch tomorrow, and it will be Thresher ace Andrew Carpenter on the mound this time around.

Florida Today

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Clearwater capture wins

Clearwater 6 at Brevard County 4

W: W. Savage (1-0, 0.00); L: T. Wendte (0-1, 4.15)
HR: BRE: M. Bell (1).

It took 11 innings, but the Threshers took game 2 from the Brevard County Manatees, 6-4 and look to sweep the best-of-5 series when it returns to Clearwater tonight at 7:00 PM

Matt Thayer singled his way onto base off Brevard County's Travis Wendte and moved to 2nd on P.J. Antoniato's sac-bunt. Brian Burgamy walked before Brad Harmon doubled to bring in Thayer, breaking open a 4-4 tie. Jason Donald's ground ball to left brought in Burgamy for the insurance run.

It would then fall to William Savage who struck out 3 and walked 1 in four innings to end the game.

Harmon would go 3-for-6 in the game with 1 run and 2 RBIs for the Threshers, while Matt Thayer was 2-for-3 with 1 run and 2 walks and Clay Harris was 3-for-5 with 1 run and 1 RBI.

Brevard County managed only 4 runs on 4 hits, taking the early lead in the 3rd inning on a pair of doubles by Ned Yost and Cole Gillespie. Mike Bell belted a solo homer, his first of the playoffs, in the sixth.

The Manatees will have to beat Clearwater's ace, right-hander Andrew Carpenter, to avoid the sweep at Brighthouse Networks Field. Carpenter was 17-6 this season with a 3.20 ERA in 163 innings over 27 games including the perfect 7-inning game over the Miracle.

Florida Today

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clearwater opens playoffs with win

Clearwater 8 at Brevard County 1

W: N. Johnson (1-0, 1.50); L: R. Lluberes (0-1, 7.20)
HR: CLE: J. Blalock (1), B. Harman (1). BRE: M. Gamel (1).

Nate Johnson held the Manatees to 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in six innings worth of work to help Clearwater thresh out a win over Brevard County in game one of the Florida State League finals series.

A Jake Blalock home run and doubles by Jeremy Slayden and Clay Harris led to a 5 run fifth inning for the Threshers. Harris also scored in the 7th while Brad Harman put one over the left field wall in the ninth to score Brian Burgamy.

The Manatees only run came when Mat Gamel launched one over the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth.

The two teams rematch Sunday at Spacecoast Stadium at 7:00 PM EST.

Burgamy was 3-for-4 for the Threshers, Blalock was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs while Harman and Harris were both 2-for-5 for the Clearwater team who pounded out 16 hits in the game.

Cory Willey struck out 5 in 2 innings of relief work, while Brett Harker pitched the ninth for West Division champions.

Florida Today

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Clearwater knocks out Sara-Reds

Alex Smit

Clearwater 4 at Sarasota 3

W: J. Trujillo (1-0, 0.00); L: S. Watson (0-1, 6.00); SV: R. Swindle (1)
HR: None.

For a while, it looked like the Sarasota Reds really wanted to travel over to see the Brevard County Manatees tonight. For a while.

Sarasota jumped out to an early lead as Cody Strait scored off a failed force attempt on Tonys Gutierrez. A fielding error by Clearwater's Brad Harman led to the run with 2 men on base, both walked by Antonio Bastardo.

Clearwater finally got to former Miracle pitcher Alexander Smit in the 4th when Brad Harmon singled and Jeremy Slayden drew a walk. Jake Blalock doubled in the pair on a fly out to center.

The Reds took their lead back though in the bottom of the inning with Eric Eymann doubling in Gutierrez, then passing the plate when Clearwater's Jason Donald threw the ball away.

Sean Watson would replace Smith in the top of the 5th. He'd work 2 innings before the Threshers rallied in 7th.

Clay Harris singled his way onto base. With 2 outs, Brian Burgamy plated him to tie up the game, then stole 2nd base. Brad Harman would draw a walk, Jason Donald would be hit by a pitch and then Jeremy Slayden would walk to force in a run. That prompted the Reds to put Dan Denham onto the mound to get the last out.

The Reds could get nothing off Bear Hill or Rob Swindle and it will be the Clearwater team, not the Sarasota team, taking the bus over to Spacecoast Stadium for a pair of games this weekend.

Smit surrendered two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 frames for Sarasota.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Clearwater, Brevard post wins

The Wright Stuff

St. Lucie 2 at Brevard County 13

W: B. Wright (1-0, 2.35); L: E. Brown (0-1, 15.43)
HR: BRE: C. Gillespie (1).

First Half East Division Champion Brevard County progressed to the Florida State League finals, putting a 13-2 hurting on the St. Lucie Mets.

Cole Gillespie hit a home run in the first inning to put the Manatees on the board. Nestor Corredor reached on a fielding error in the 3rd and Lorenzo Cain walked. A Mat Gamel single scored the first runner, Cain was taken out on home on a fielder's choice that put Gillespie on base. Singles by Mike Bell and Yohannis Perez, mixed in with a Chris Errecart triple put the Manatees on top 6-0.

An Errecart double and a Perez single in the 7th extended the Manatees lead.

A Nick Evans double and a Dan Murphy single put St. Lucie on the board in top of the 8th, but the game was already out of reach. The Manatees tacked on another 5 runs in the bottom of the inning.

Brae Wright allowed only 2 hits on 8 hits and 1 walk in 7.2 innings while striking out 3. Patrick Ryan finish up on the mound for Brevard County. The Mets farm team threw 7 different pitchers at the Manatees, with Eric Brown suffering the loss for St. Lucie.

Florida Today

Clearwater 3 at Sarasota 2

W: A. Carpenter (1-0, 3.00); L: D. Thompson (0-1, 3.60); SV: W. Savage (1)
HR: None.

Andrew Carpenter did not throw another perfect game, but the Threshers ace was effective Thursday night against Sarasota as the Threshers tied up the West Division Championship series at one game each.

A Tony Gutierrez walk and a Jeramiah Piepkorn single put the Reds on the board in the bottom of the second. A Lou Marson double helped the Threshers put 2 runners over the plate in the 4th to give the Phillies farm team the lead.

Marson's double in 6th scored Jeremy Slayden for an insurance run, which would be needed as a Cody Strait single, a stolen base and Gutierrez ground ball would give the Reds another run.

Carpenter picked up the win allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 6 innings. Darryl Thompson took the loss the for the Reds, allowing 2 runs, 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4 through 5.

The final game of the series is Friday night at Ed Smith Stadium, with the win progressing to face the Manatees.


Manatees bounce back

Cole Gillespie

St. Lucie 6 at Brevard County 7

W: K. Roberts (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Hietpas (0-1, 7.71)
HR: BRE: C. Errecart (1).

Brevard County rallied back at Spacecoast Stadium to tie the Eastern Divsion finals at one game each with the St. Lucie Mets. Lorenzo Cain was hit by a pitch to force in a run, tying the game. Mat Gamel then singled in Fredy Parejo to put the Manatees on top.

St. Lucie let through most of the game. An Ender Chavez line drive brought in Dan Murphy to put the Mets on the board in the second. Brevard tied it up in the bottom of the fourth when Gamel reached on a fielding error by Nick Evans, stole second and was plated by Chris Errecart's fly out.

A pair of doubles by Evans and Sean McCraw led to 5 Mets runs that chased Manatees starter Mike McClendon from the mound. The Manatees got back into the game though when Errecart's homer scored 3.

Kevin Roberts picked up the win, allowing 1 hit and walking 2 while striking out 5 in 2.2 innings worth of work. Joe Hietpas suffered the loss and a blown save for St. Lucie.

The final game of the series will be played Thursday night at Spacecoast Stadium.

Florida Today

Wednesday's game FSL West Division Finals game between the Clearwater Threshers and the Sarasota Reds at Ed Smith Stadium was postponed due to rain. It will played Thursday, September 6 at 7:00 PM. The Reds lead the best-of-three series, 1-0.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Sarasota, St. Lucie take early FSL playoff leads

Eric EymannDerrik Lutz

Sarasota 2 at Clearwater 0

W: B. Jukich (1-0, 0.00); L: A. Cruse (0-1, 3.00); SV: D. Lutz (1)

HR: SAR: C. Strait (1).

Sarasota ace Ben Jukich blanked the Clearwater Threshers for 7 innings at Bright House Networks Field and Cody Strait put a home run ball over the left field fence to lead the Reds to victory in game one of the West Division finals.

Jukich walked 2 and stuck out 5 before giving way to Sean Watson and Derrik Lutz who finished out the game. Clearwater only managed 2 hits agains the Reds staff.

Andrew Cruse took the loss for the Threshers, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4 in 6 innings worth of work.

Strait's yarder came at the top of 4th inning for the Reds. Chris Valaika also scored a run in the top of the 5th off Eric Eymann's sac-fly.

Ron "Bear" Hill finished off the game for the Threshers, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3 in 3 innings. Jason Donald and Matt Thayer were the only Threshers to record hits.

The series now travels to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota for games 2 on Wednesday. Zac Stott will take the start for Clearwater. The Reds will counter with Daryl Thompson.

Herald Tribune

Brevard County 0 at St. Lucie 8

W: J. Niese (1-0, 0.00); L: D. Welch (0-1, 3.38)
HR: None.

In the East Division finals, the St. Lucie Mets pounded out 8 runs on 12 hits, pasting the Brevard County Manatees.

Jonathan Niese allowed only 1 hit and walked 2 through six innings while striking out 9. Cole Gillespie tripled in the top of the 4th with 2 outs for the Tees, but Chris Errecart struck out swinging to preserve Neise's no hitter.

Victor Mendez scored in the bottom of the 3rd off a Hector Pellot single give the Mets the only run they would need, but there would be plenty of insurance, as the Mets scored consistently in through the next four innings.

Mendez was 2-for-3 with 1 run and 2 RBIs while Nick Evans was 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI to lead the Mets. Catcher Sean McCraw and right fielder Ambiorix Conception were also 2-for-4 for the Mets, Conception with a run and an rbi in the contest. Pillot was 2-for-5 with 1 run and 1 RBI in the friendly confines of Tradition Field.

Gillespie was 2-for-3 for Brevard County; Darren Ford and Yohannis Perez had the other 2 hits for the Manatees.

David Welch suffered the loss, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 in 5.1 innings.

The two teams meet tonight in Melbourne for game 2, with Mike McClendon taking to the Spacecoast Stadium mound for the home team, while St Lucie will send right hander Eric Brown.

Florida Today

Monday, September 3, 2007

Jays lose pitching duel, playoff bid

Adrian Martin
Adrian Martin

Fort Myers 1 at Dunedin 0

Record 38 - 30

W: J. Manship (8-5, 3.15); L: A. Martin (5-3, 2.56); SV: J. Martinez (1)
HR: FTM: E. Lis (17).

E: Gardenhire (12, throw).

Pitching duels are not as much fun to listen to as they are to watch, but Saturday's game turned out to be a classic. Jeff Manship rebounded from a tough outing in his last start blank the Blue Jays through 5.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3.

The closest Dunedin got was in the bottom of the 4th, when 2 singles and a force out found Kyle Phillips at 3rd base with only 1 out, but Manship got Brian Jeroloman to strike out and Chris Gutierrez to fly out to get out of the jam.

Adrian Martin was nearly as good, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk with 5 strike out in 7 innings. The sole blemish in his performance came in the top of the fourth when Erik Lis hit is 17th home run of the year, his second in Knology Park, which is slightly (325 feet) smaller than Hammond Stadium.

Danny Powers worked 1.2 innings, striking out 2 and walking 1, while J.P. Martinez finished off the game for the Miracle, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 2.

The Jays threatened in the 9th with Jays having runners at first and second with one out. Miracle 3rd baseman Toby Gardenhire snagged a bouncing ball from Anthony Hatch for a force out at 3rd, but Gardenhire's throw to first went into right field, where it was scooped up by Edward Ovalle and fired back to the plate in time for Korey Feiner to nab Carlo Cota at the plate.

Brandon League and Chris Blackwell finished up for the Jays, neither allowing a Miracle hit, although issuing 1 walk each.

Dunedin's loss, combined with Clearwater's sweep of a double header in Lakeland last night, gave the 2nd Half West Division Championship to the Threshers, who will take on the Reds in the first round of the FSL playoffs which begin on Tuesday.

Fort Myers AAA and AA affiliates in Rochester and New Britain also saw their playoff hopes end last night. The Red Wings lost to the Buffalo Bisons which leads them by a game in the wild card slot and both teams still trail Richmond.

Despite a win by former Miracle Angel Garcia in New Britain, the Rock Cats were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs last night. Fort Myers alumni Oswaldo Sosa retired the first nine of ten batters he faced, including the first six-straight, but then got into trouble in the fourth. Sosa exited after the inning, surrendering four runs on three walks and three hits. He struck out five. Garcia (1-0) tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief (2 H, 1 ER, 3 K) to pick up his first Double-A win.

The Miracle and the Blue Jays play their last game of the season at 1:00 Sunday at Knology Park. Kyle Waldrop (6-5, 3.36) will take the start against righty Brandon Magee (9-7, 3.84) for Dunedin.


Early Winter For Perkins: Twins southpaw Glen Perkins, 24, is done for the season after struggling to rehabilitate a shoulder strain with the Rock Cats. He was 0-2 with an 11.05 ERA in 71/3 innings over three outings. He gave up five home runs among 11 hits. Perkins had a 3.80 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Twins before injuring the shoulder in May.

Morales in batting race: Former Miracle catcher Jose Morales remains in the thick of things for the International League batting title. Morales entered Saturday just two points behind leader Ben Francisco of Buffalo, who was promoted to the Cleveland Indians on Friday night. Francisco finishes at .318 in 95 games. Rochester's last batting champion was Miracle alumni Jason Kubel, who hit .343 in 2004.

Slowey on top: Last season's ace pitcher Kevin Slowey has clinched the International League's ERA title with a 1.89 mark. That's the lowest by an IL ERA champion since Tidewater's David West finished at 1.80 in 1988. Slowey still has not been recalled by the Minnesota Twins, though he is expected to start Tuesday against Cleveland. Slowey will likely lose his bid for the MSP Award. Tampa's Ian Kennedy is the current leader with a 1.29 ERA.

Tobyism: Toby Gardenhire has played in every game of the current Miracle four game win streak. Makes you wonder where the team would be if he'd actually been in the line up when the team still had a shot at making the playoffs.

How distracting: Outfielder Eli Tintor, from Hibbing, was sent home recently from Class A Beloit for what Twins director of minor leagues Jim Rantz called "a distraction." He used the same word to describe why Class A Fort Myers third baseman Danny Valencia was benched in recent games. LEN3

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Miracle defeat Jays, stretch win streak to 3 games

Errol Simonitsch

Fort Myers 7 at Dunedin 4

Record 37 - 30

W: E. Simonitsch (5-0, 4.17); L: R. Ray (3-3, 4.86)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (12).

If anyone on the Miracle deserves a call up to AAA to end the season, it is without doubt Errol Simonitsch, who seems to have worked past his injury and has pitched quite well over has past several starts.

Simo allowed 6 Jays hits and walked 1 but allowed only 1 run in 7 innings of work while striking out 7. A hit batter and 2 singles allowed Jesus Gonzalez to score to give the Jays their first run of the game and by then, the Miracle had put up a lead that Dunedin found tough to overcome.

A Brian Dinkelman single, a Steve Tolleson walk and a Dustin Martin single combined to get Dinkelman across the plate and the Miracle on the scoreboard in the first.

Dink and Erik Lis would also score runs in the 3rd with the pair hitting singles and then having Martin join them on base after being hit by a pitch. Juan Portes line drive brought the two initial runners in, but a Johnny Woodard strike out and a Dwyane White pop out left 2 men stranded.

If Portes had not made a case for a promotion to AA next season, he certainly did so in the 7th when he homered in Martin to give the Miracle a 5 run lead before Dunedin solved Simonitsch.

Toby Gardenhire singled and stoled second in the eighth inning, coming home on a Tolleson line drive to tack one more on to the visitors lead.

A Martin double off Connor Falkenbach and a Dwayne White single finished off the scoring.

Winston Marquez, a big southpaw who played the entire GCL season as starter, made a late season FSL appearance for the Miracle in the 8th. He allowed only a Kyle Phillips single in that inning, but a Luke Hetherington double greeted him in the 9th as the Jays attempted a rally.

He would walk Brian Jeroloman and Chris Gutierrez single to load the bases before Kevin Boles sent Rob Delaney out to the mound, Hetherington would score on Carlo Cotas' ground out a Jeroloman would be plated by a Anthony Hatch sac-fly. An Eric Nielsen single brought in the last of the inherited runners. A Jacob Butler fly out would strand 2 to end the game.

The two teams meet again tonight with Jay Manship (7-5, 3.41) taking to the mound against Adrian Martin.

The Miracle remain entrenched in fourth place in the division, but the win knocks the Blue Jays down into second place after the Threshers split a pair with the Flying Tigers last night.