PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees opened up their seven-game road trip with an 11-7 loss on Monday night to the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Charlotte Sports Park.
The 'Tees (17-26) fell into a big hole early as starter Brooks Hall (0-2, 5.40) allowed eight runs (seven earned) in just 1 1/3 innings of work. He gave up five hits - three of them homers - while walking four and striking out two.
Down 8-0 after two innings, the Manatees slowly started cutting the deficit in the fourth as Mike Walker drove in two with a two-out double to make it an 8-2 game. Brevard made it an 8-4 game in the sixth as both Nick Shaw and Shawn Zarraga hit solo homers in the inning.
Eric Marzec did a good job keeping the Stone Crabs (22-21) off the board after Hall's early departure, as he threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit.
After the Stone Crabs scored once in the bottom of the sixth, Brevard County made it a 9-7 game with a three-run seventh. Shea Vucinich led the inning off with a triple and was brought home two batters later on a ground out by Scott Krieger.
Franklin Romero Jr. then singled and Shaw walked to put two on with two outs. T.J. Mittelstaedt then tripled down the right field line to clear the bases and make it just a two run game. The rally ended with Cody Hawn striking out to end the seventh.
Charlotte would pull away with the game in the bottom of the eighth as they scored two insurance runs as Derek Dietrich hit a ground-rule double off of Casey Medlen with the runs being charged to the line of Greg Holle.
Though it was too little, too late, Brevard continued their recent clutch hitting as six of their seven RBI came with two outs. Also of the eight hits the Manatees had on Monday night, six of them went for extra bases.
Mittelstaedt and Walker both drove in two runs each, while Zarraga was the only Manatee with a multi-hit night as he had two hits. The Manatees didn't help their cause in the field though as they committed four errors, including two by Vucinich.
Brevard County will look to rebound on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Charlotte in the second game of their four-game set.
2011 first round draft pick Taylor Jungmann (2-3, 3.15) will take the ball for the 'Tees as he is still looking for his first win since April 10. In four road starts this season, Jungmann is 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA.
Braulio Lara (3-2, 6.00) will toe the rubber for the Stone Crabs. In three starts so far in May, Lara is 1-2 with a 10.80 ERA.