DUNEDIN, Fla. - Despite sending the tying run to the plate after scoring two runs in the ninth inning, the Brevard County Manatees fell 4-2 to the Dunedin Blue Jays on Sunday evening at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Dunedin starting pitcher Jesse Hernandez (6-10, 3.50 ERA) held Brevard County scoreless over 6.2 innings of work. He allowed just three hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
For the Manatees (21-26 second half, 58-56 overall), Chad Pierce (5-5, 3.46 ERA) turned in a strong six-inning start, in which he struck out six men. He was hit with the loss as he was charged with three runs on six hits, with one walk.
K.C. Hobson's second-inning single was followed by a double from Marcus Knecht, with Hobson scoring the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Gustavo Pierre. A two-out RBI single by Chris Schaeffer plated Knecht to give the Blue Jays (18-28, 55-57) a 2-0 lead.
Michael Crouse's solo homer in the sixth proved to be the winning run, with an insurance run coming in the bottom of the eighth for Dunedin.
Jon Berti was hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth and then advanced to second on a groundout. On his steal of third base, the throw down from Rafael Neda sailed into left field and allowed him to score.
An attempt to rally by the 'Tees in the seventh would be stopped short as Nicky Delmonico pushed a one-out single to right and stole a base. After Cody Hawn walked, both runners advanced into scoring position on a passed ball. However, neither was able to score as Tyler Ybarra forced Neda to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.
Brevard County was able to put together two runs in the ninth, with the first three batters all reaching against reliever Tony Davis. Nick Ramirez led off with a double and moved to third on a double from Mitch Haniger. Ramirez scored on a wild pitch, which was the fourth ball to Delmonico that took Davis out of the game in favor of Blake McFarland.
Despite a sacrifice fly from Hawn that made it 4-2, McFarland faced just three batters and recorded three outs to end the comeback. Rafael Neda represented the tying run when he came to bat, but grounded out to first to end the game.
Brevard County will attempt to avoid the sweep on Monday night at 6:30 p.m as they send Tyler Cravy (3-1, 2.31 ERA) to the mound. Lefty John Anderson (5-2, 2.70 ERA) will toe the rubber for Dunedin.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.