The Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers got together Monday for game two of their three game series at Joker Marchant Stadium. After the two teams combined for 18 runs and 26 hits in Sunday’s series opener won by the Manatees 14-4, Monday was a pitchers’ duel for much of the night, with the Manatees scoring a 4-2 victory in 13 innings.
Garrett Cooper capped the victory with a two-run single that scored Clint Coulter and Victor Roache with the eventual game winning runs. Cooper ended the night 2-for-4 with those two RBI.
Lakeland (7-12) struck first in the bottom of the third against Brevard County starter Brandon Woodruff. Jiwan James started the inning with a walk and scored on a Curt Powell RBI double. The visiting Manatees answered with a single run in the top of the fourth on a Roache single that scored Taylor Brennan to tie the game, 1-1. Brennan reached on an error earlier in the inning.
A single by Cooper got the Manatees going in the fifth inning, he moved to second on a Paul Eshleman ground out. After Angel Ortega walked, Steven Halcomb singled to right, bringing Cooper around and giving the ‘Tees a 2-1 lead. Woodruff got through the fifth with the lead and gave way to Stephen Peterson in the sixth. Woodruff gave up six hits in his five innings, but only the one run. He walked three and struck out one. Flying Tigers starter Ryan Longstreth gave way to Calvin Drummond to start the seventh inning. Longstreth gave up two runs, one earned on just three hits, but left with a no decision.
Lakeland threatened in the eighth when Peterson walked Dominic Ficociello to start the inning. After he got the next hitter on strikes, Manatees manager Joe Ayrault called on Kaleb Earls out of the bullpen. He gave up a single to Powell, but came back to retire the next two hitters and get out of the inning with the one-run lead in tact.
Brevard County looked poised to add insurance in the ninth when Brennan walked and Coulter singled. Reliever Zac Reininger made his way in for Lakeland and threw a wild pitch to start his night. That moved the runners to second and third. After Roache struck out, Cooper drew a walk to load the bases. A strikeout by Eshleman and a ground out by Angel Ortega ended the threat.
Earls came out to pitch the ninth and got the first out of the inning, but proceeded to give up three straight singles to Francisco Martinez, James and Javier Betancourt, tying things up and sending the game to extra innings.
The game stayed tied until the top of the 13th inning when Coulter led off for the Manatees with a double, against reliever Montreal Robertson (1-3). Roache then reached on an error by James in center field, moving Coulter to third, while Roache ended up at second. That brought Cooper to the plate and he drilled a single to left, scoring both runners and making it a 4-2 game.
Tristan Archer took the ball for the Manatees in the bottom of the inning, taking over for Tyler Spurlin (1-0) who gave Brevard County three innings of shutout baseball. Lakeland got two singles against Archer, but he got out of trouble and earned his first save of the year.
For More info: Brevard County @ Lakeland boxscore
The Manatees (9-9) will look for the series sweep Tuesday morning in an Education Day clash, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. Javi Salas (1-2, 1.35 ERA) will start for Brevard County. He will be opposed by Tommy Collier (2-0, 1.00 ERA).