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.