LAKELAND, Fla. - The Lakeland Flying Tigers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to knock off the Miracle, 4-3, on Saturday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Blayne Enlow tossed six strong innings, but had to settle for a no-decision. The right-hander allowed just one run on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Gabriel Maciel opened the scoring with a bloop RBI single down the right field line in the top of the third inning. Lakeland loaded the bases with nobody out against Enlow in the fourth, but he escaped the jam with only one run allowed.
The game remained 1-1 until the seventh, when the Miracle scored a pair of unearned runs off former big leaguer Jake Thompson to re-take the lead. With runners on second and third and two out, Aaron Whitefield grounded one up the middle. Second baseman Kody Clemens made a diving stop to his right, but threw the ball away to allow another run to score. Whitefield was given credit with an RBI infield single.
Zach Neff took over for Enlow in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side in order on just five pitches. However, the first four batters reached off Neff in the eighth. Cole Peterson singled, Chad Sedio was hit by a pitch, and Clemens lined an RBI double over the head of Trey Cabbage in right field. With a pair of runners in scoring position, Brady Policelli put Lakeland up for good with a soft roller through the right side for a two-run single.
Thompson (2-0) earned the win with three innings in relief, while Neff (2-2) was saddled with the loss. Lakeland starter Spenser Watkins took a no-decision, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three.
The Miracle will try to avoid a three-game sweep in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Publix Field. Right-hander Bailey Ober will start for Fort Myers. First pitch is 1:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.