TAMPA, Fla. - One day after taking winning two games in a historic "tripleheader", the Brevard County Manatees opened their six-game road trip with a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Tampa Yankees on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The 'Tees (5-2 second half, 34-41 overall) fell behind 5-0 after two innings and never recovered. Starting pitcher Brandon Williamson (1-5, 6.80) gave up all seven Tampa (4-3 second half, 34-40 overall) runs as he went four-plus innings. All of the runs were earned as he allowed seven hits, while walking three and striking out one.
Williamson allowed a two-out, three-run homer to Kyle Roller in the first and then ran into more trouble when Eduardo Sosa led the second inning off with a triple. Sosa scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to give Tampa a 4-0 lead.
Ramon Flores then hit a ground-rule double to center and would score one batter later on a JR Murphy RBI single as the Yankees had a 5-0 advantage. Williamson retired the Yanks in order the third and the fourth, but ran into trouble again in the fifth.
He allowed a lead-off walk to Murphy and then a two-run homer Slade Heathcott, which made it a 7-0 game. After walking Rob Segedin, Williamson's night was done.
Brevard's bullpen did a stellar job shutting down Tampa the rest of the way as Eric Arnett and Eric Marzec pitched two scoreless innings each and allowed just three hits combined.
Offensively, the Manatees couldn't solve Tampa starter Caleb Cotham as he threw six shutout innings and struck out eight Brevard hitters. The 'Tees scored their only run in the seventh inning on a solo homer by Cody Hawn, his seventh of the season.
Shea Vucinich was the only Manatee who had a multi-hit effort as he was 2-for-3 with Brevard's only other extra-base hit which was a two-out double in the fifth. Brevard struck out a total of 12 times on the night against Tampa pitching.
The Manatees will look to rebound in the second game of their three-game set with the Yankees on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.
Andy Moye (3-0, 4.61) will take the hill for the 'Tees and will be looking to improve to 4-0 with Brevard. He is 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA in three June starts. The Yanks will counter with lefty Matt Tracy (2-1, 1.30).