VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees earned their sixth walk-off win of the season on Monday night at Space Coast Stadium as they topped the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 3-2. This time it was on a strange single and an error with two outs in the ninth inning.
Brandon Macias became the hero with a soft chopper to the left side of the infield, forcing both the shortstop Brandon Loy and third baseman Francisco Martinez to charge in to try and make the play. Both collided and missed the ball, allowing runners to score from second and third on the error charged to Loy and give Brevard County (35-30) the win over Lakeland (30-36).
After Cameron Garfield's infield single and Cody Hawn's bloop single in left center to start the ninth, Yadiel Rivera grounded out to the pitcher and advanced both runners. Garfield had been immediately replaced by Ben McMahan on the base paths, while Hawn was lifted for Lance Roenicke to run once he reached second.
It was the third of Brevard's six walk-offs in which a pinch runner scored the winning run. Other such instances included on April 16 against the Flying Tigers, when Adrian Williams advanced from first to third on a pair of passed balls then scored on a wild pitch and on May 31 when T.J. Mittelstaedt scored on a double by Rivera against the Daytona Cubs.
Greg Hopkins led off the sixth inning with a solo homer, his third of the year, to cut what was then a 2-0 deficit to Lakeland in half. Hopkins, along with Hawn, each recorded two hits for the 'Tees.
Brevard County starting pitcher Jed Bradley (4-2, 3.94) was charged with two runs in the third inning, though just one was earned. The southpaw left after seven innings as he surrendered seven hits with only one walk and three strikeouts. Bradley recorded 14 groundball outs on the night and had his fourth consecutive quality start.
Earning the win in relief was Stephen Peterson as he fanned two with two hits allowed in as many innings, while Lakeland's All-Star closer Melvin Mercedes (3-1) was hit with the loss on three hits for two runs, one earned.
For Lakeland, Wilsen Palacios left the game in line for the victory but took a no-decision despite holding the Manatees to just one run on five hits and a walk, while striking out seven in seven innings.
With the Dunedin Blue Jays topping the Tampa Yankees on Monday night, the Manatees remain one-half game out of first place with two games to go in the first half. With the Blue Jays in Tampa tomorrow, the Manatees will once again host the Flying Tigers on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m.
It was announced late Monday that the Major League rehab assignment of right-handed pitcher Hiram Burgos was transferred from Class-A Wisconsin to Brevard County and that Burgos will start for the Manatees on Tuesday. Lakeland will counter with Jeff Ferrell (3-4, 3.44).