VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees fell behind 5-0 after two innings and never recovered as they were defeated 9-2 by the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday night at Space Coast Stadium.
Brandon Williamson (1-6, 6.99) made his first start since June 28 and allowed five runs - four earned - in four innings of work. He yielded six hits and walked two, while striking out four. Williamson has not made it past the fourth inning in five of his ten starts with the Manatees (10-7 second half, 39-46 overall) and Brevard's streak of five straight quality starts by its pitching staff was snapped.
All five runs that Williamson allowed to the Threshers (10-8, 46-38) came in the first two innings and was capped off by a two-run homer by Zach Collier with one out in the second. Brian Garman relieved Williamson in the fifth and threw three scoreless innings, while striking out four.
Clearwater starter Brody Colvin held the 'Tees scoreless through six innings, but Brevard finally got on the board in the seventh. Colvin hit Brock Kjeldgaard with a pitch to lead-off the inning and then Hector Gomez singled to put runners on first and second.
Mike Walker then grounded a ball right back to Colvin, who turned to throw the ball to second but it ended up in center as Kjeldgaard scored. Colvin was then lifted for Colton Murray who gave up a sacrifice fly to Parker Berberet that scored Hector Gomez to cut Clearwater's lead to 5-2.
Eric Arnett relieved Garman in the eighth and ran into trouble immediately as he allowed a lead-off single to Anthony Hewitt and then a double to Cameron Rupp that plated Hewitt. After two strikeouts, Rupp came home on a double to left to make it a 7-2 game in favor of the Threshers. Clearwater padded their lead in the ninth with a two-run homer by Jim Murphy off of Arnett.
Offensively for Brevard, Berberet was the only Manatee with a multi-hit effort as he was 2-for-3 and had Brevard County's lone RBI. In 11 games against the Threshers in 2012, the Manatees are hitting just .187.
Brevard County and Clearwater will face off in the rubber match of their three-game set on Monday at 6:35 p.m.
For the Manatees, Andy Moye (4-0, 4.35) will be looking to improve to 5-0. Moye has had a quality start in each of his last three outings.
The Threshers will counter with Perci Garner (3-5, 4.86). Garner has been a road warrior for Clearwater this season as he is 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 road starts.