VIERA, Fla. - An unearned run was the difference in a rain-soaked affair on Sunday night at Space Coast Stadium as the Brevard County Manatees fell 1-0 to the Fort Myers Miracle.
Two rain delays totaled 2:03, including a 55 minute delay before first pitch and another pause in the action of 1:08, with the official time of game play being recorded as 2:37.
Brevard County (14-13 second half, 51-43 overall) starting pitcher Brent Suter (7-5, 2.60 ERA)had cruised through the first six frames, giving up just two hits and three walks with six strikeouts before the delay in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Suter did not factor into the decision for his second straight outing though, after taking a decision in his first 12 appearances of the season. For Suter, it was also his tenth quality start in 13 starts with Brevard County this season.
Fort Myers (14-14, 59-36) scored its only run in the top of the seventh against Matt Miller. Stephen Wickens reached on a one-out error by Yadiel Rivera, who could not cleanly handle the wet ball on a grounder.
Wickens then moved up to second on a walk to Kyle Knudson but the fourth ball was a wild pitch, which allowed Wickens to go to third. Levi Michael then singled to center to drive home Wickens.
Miracle lefty Jason Wheeler was also impressive before the delay as he held holding Brevard County to just three hits and two walks, while striking out four in his 5.1 innings of work. The Manatees had a runner reach second base just four times and only once did the 'Tees have a runner on third.
Both starting pitchers combined to face just one batter over the minimum through the first three innings, with each issuing a walk. Suter was able to pick off Kennys Vargas after walking him in the second, to face only nine batters in three frames, before both teams recorded at least one hit in the fourth.
The loss was the eighth shutout loss for the Manatees. It was also the eighth time that Fort Myers had blanked its opponent and the first time since May 28.
The second game of the series is slated for 6:35 p.m. on Monday night. Jacob Barnes (6-3, 3.31 ERA) will start for the Manatees, with Tyler Duffey (2-3, 3.89 ERA) set to throw for Fort Myers.