VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees took an early 4-0 lead and held on to defeat the Dunedin Blue Jays, 4-3 on Saturday night at Space Coast Stadium. The victory gave the 'Tees a three-game sweep of the first half North Division champion Blue Jays.
The 'Tees (3-0 second half, 32-39) jumped all over Dunedin (0-3, 42-28) starting pitcher Ryan Tepera early as they scored four runs off of him in the first two innings. With two outs in the first, T.J. Mittelstaedt singled and then stole second base. Jason Rogers drove him home with a RBI single to left for the first run of the game.
Mike Walker then singled to put two on with two out. Cody Hawn stepped in and cleared the bases with his 18th double of the season to give Brevard a 3-0 lead. He was thrown out trying to take third base to end the first. Hawn was the only Manatee with a multi-hit night as he was 2-for-2 with a walk.
With one on and one out in the second, John Dishon doubled to put runners at the corners. Joey Paciorek then scored on a Nick Shaw ground out to give Brevard a 3-0 lead.
After the second inning, Brevard did not muster much offense against the Blue Jays. Just four more men reached base for the Manatees in the last seven innings.
Dunedin cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth as 'Tees starter Andy Moye (3-0, 4.61) gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Schimpf. Those would be the only two runs that Moye would allow as he yielded four hits in six innings of work.
After Eric Arnett pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Moye in the seventh; Eric Marzec entered the game in the eighth. Marzec walked the first two hitters, but then struck out the next two. Schimpf then stepped in and drove in his third run of the game on a single to center to cut Brevard's lead to 4-3.
The Blue Jays then called on a pinch hitter - All-Star Jon Talley - to face Marzec, but Joe Ayrault made the call to the bullpen to Greg Holle. It took Holle just two pitches to retire Talley as he grounded out to second to end the threat and the inning.
Holle stayed in the game in the ninth and threw a perfect inning for his third save of the season as the 'Tees won their third game in a row.
Brevard County will continue their seven-game homestand on Sunday at 5:05 p.m., as they welcome the Charlotte Stone Crabs to Space Coast Stadium for a four-game series. The Manatees took two of three from the Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte back in May.
Taylor Jungmann (5-4, 3.83) will take the mound for the Manatees. In a start against Charlotte on May 22, Jungmann went 7.2 innings and struck out a career-high eight hitters.
Kyle Farnsworth, who is on a Major League rehab assignment from the Rays, will pitch the first inning of Sunday's game for the Stone Crabs. Albert Suarez (4-3, 3.64) will follow Farnsworth on the hill for Charlotte.