JUPITER, Fla. (July 1, 2015) - Aaron Slegers struck out eight over seven solid innings to guide the Fort Myers Miracle to a 6-2 series opening win on Wednesday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Miracle tagged Cardinals starter Trey Nielsen for five runs in the first few innings. Zack Granite started the game with a line drive single into right and was sacrificed to second base on a bunt by Engelb Vielma. Alex Swim then lobbed a first pitch base hit into left to drive in Granite and put the Miracle up 1-0.
After a scoreless second, the Miracle blitzed Nielsen (8-5) in the third. Vielma led off with a double down the first base line. Swim again jumped on a first pitch and poked a single into left to bring in Vielma. Marcus Knecht followed with a base hit up the middle. After Nielsen struck out Mitch Garver, Aderling Mejia slapped a base hit into left to drive in Swim, 3-0.
Bryan Haar continued the barrage with an RBI single to left center and Chad Christensen drove in a run with a smash through the middle to put the Miracle up 5-0.
Slegers (5-4) toed the rubber with the lead and never came close to relinquishing the advantage. Scattering seven hits, Slegers allowed two earned runs with no walks and threw a first pitch strike to 23 of the 29 batters faced.
The Cardinals got a run in the bottom of the third after an RBI triple from Blake Drake to start the frame. Casey Turgeon then grounded out to first and Turgeon scored, 5-1.
In Slegers' final inning, David Washington doubled to begin the seventh. After a wild pitch moved Washington to third, Carson Kelly grounded out to bring in a second Cardinals run, 5-2.
The Miracle went to the bullpen in the eighth and Brian Gilbert hurled a scoreless frame that included a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth, the Miracle added an insurance run on a Swim two-out RBI single. Swim finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored.
Up 6-2, Tyler Jay made his third appearance out of the Miracle pen and shut down the Cardinals with a perfect frame. Jay recorded a ground out, fly out and strikeout to secure a series opening win.
Fort Myers has now won 18 of the last 22 games and hold a one-game lead in the Florida State League South Division. The Miracle (43-34, 5-2) continue the series with Palm Beach (36-41, 4-3) on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. Fans can listen to the broadcast at www.miraclebaseball.com with the "Voice of the Miracle" Brice Zimmerman.