VIERA, Fla. - After losing the completion of a suspended game earlier in the day, the Brevard County Manatees fell to the Clearwater Threshers in a seven-inning contest, 7-3 at Space Coast Stadium on Monday night.
Clearwater jumped in front in a hurry. After Brevard's starter Damien Magnifico hit Roman Quinn to begin the game, Everett Williams slammed an RBI double to open the scoring.
Williams was later retired on a ground ball to third base off the bat of Brandon Short. The runner tried to advance to third when Nicky Delmonico bobbled the ball. However, Magnifico covered third and Delmonico threw to him for the tag-out.
Short reached first on the play and Art Charles worked a walk to bring Brian Pointer to the dish. Pointer delivered the big blow of the inning, as he lifted a homer to left that gave the Threshers a 4-0 lead in the opening frame.
In the bottom of the third, the Manatees mounted a big rally to pull within one run. Parker Berberet and Jose Sermo hit back-to-back singles, but Nathan Orf rolled into a 6-4-3 double play. Sermo and Orf were retired, but Berberet moved to third with two outs.
Orlando Arcia then worked a walk to put runners on the corners and Tyrone Taylor put the 'Tees on the board with an unlikely double. Taylor ripped a single up the middle and Clearwater second baseman Anthony Phillips dove after it. The ball deflected off of Phillips' glove and toward shortstop. Berberet scored easily and Taylor hustled up to second with an infield two-bagger.
The Manatees had Arcia on third and Taylor on second for Michael Reed with a chance to tighten the score. Reed rolled a single up the middle that scored both runners and the 'Tees only trailed, 4-3.
Clearwater, however, pulled away in the fifth. After Phillips led off with a single, Quinn dropped a bunt single down the third base line. Crawford then singled to load the bases for Williams. The left fielder had already roped an RBI double, plus a single and he added another knock with a two-run single to put the Threshers further ahead. A sacrifice fly by Short scored Crawford shortly thereafter and Clearwater led, 7-3.
Threshers starter Mark Leiter kept the Manatees from threatening again. The only runs he allowed over his six innings came in the third. Leiter (1-0, 3.46 ERA) struck out five, walked one and surrendered seven hits.
Magnifico (5-5, 3.95 ERA) eventually took the loss after he allowed seven runs in 4.1 innings. The starter gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out three.
Before Lee Ridenhour closed the game out for Clearwater in the bottom of the seventh, five players were ejected in the top of the inning.
Manatees reliever Mark Williams was tossed first after throwing a pitch that nearly hit Crawford. Arcia and Jose Sermo of the 'Tees and Clearwater's Brian Pointer and Corey Bass were also ejected. Leiter had hit Arcia with a pitch in the fifth inning.
Following a pair of losses on Monday night, the 'Tees will head to Lakeland to start a three-game series against the Flying Tigers on Tuesday. Brevard County is expected to throw Jorge Lopez (8-3, 2.83 ERA) against Kevin Eichhorn (4-2, 2.44 ERA). First pitch at Joker Marchant Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.