CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brent Suter became the first Brevard County Manatees pitcher to record a nine-inning, complete game win in over four years as the 'Tees edged the Clearwater Threshers, 2-1 on Friday night at Bright House Field.
Suter (7-4, 2.87) scattered five hits and allowed just one run on a two-out solo homer to Brock Stassi in the second inning. The southpaw tallied five strikeouts and walked just one batter, with the free pass coming with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The 2012 31st round pick out of Harvard University went the distance on 112 pitches with 78 strikes.
The walk that Suter issued in the ninth to Carlos Alonso made things interesting as it put the tying run on base with the winning run coming to the plate in the form of Kelly Dugan. Suter though was able to punch out Dugan on three pitches to end the threat, the game and wrap up the complete game.
Jimmy Nelson was the last Manatee to throw a nine-inning, complete game on May 18, 2012 against the Fort Myers Miracle, but that came in a losing effort. Before Friday night, Evan Anundsen was the last Brevard County pitcher to win a nine-inning, complete game when he hurled a no-hitter on the road against the Daytona Cubs on April 28, 2009.
Eight of Suter's ten starts with Brevard County in 2013 have been quality starts and he now ranks seventh in the Florida State League in ERA and fifth in WHIP.
The Manatees (6-3 second half, 43-33 overall) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning as they were able to string together three consecutive hits against Clearwater (3-5, 38-38) starter Mario Hollands to start the inning.
Cameron Garfield led off the frame with a single to left and then Nick Ramirez followed with his 14th double of the year to put runners at the corners. Ben McMahan then brought Garfield home as he reached on an infield single in the hole at shortstop.
Greg Hopkins moved both Ramirez and McMahan over 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out, but the 'Tees weren't able to capitalize. Brandon Macias flew out to left and McMahan was doubled off of second base to end the inning.
After Clearwater scored in the bottom of the second on the homer by Stassi, the game remained tied at 1-1 through five.
Chadwin Stang led off the sixth with a triple off of Hollands into the left-center field gap and would come home two batters later on a RBI single through the right side of the infield by Yadiel Rivera.
At the plate for the Manatees, Garfield led the way as he went 3-for-4 with a run scored. It was Garfield's fourth three-hit game of the season. McMahan also had a multi-hit night as he went 2-for-3.
Brevard County's six-game road trip will continue as they will begin a three-game set with the Lakeland Flying Tigers (2-6, 32-44) on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. at Joker Marchant Stadium. The Manatees have an 8-1 record against the Flying Tigers thus far this season.