BRADENTON, Fla. - The Miracle blew three different leads and dropped a heartbreaker to the Bradenton Marauders, 7-6 in 10 innings, on Wednesday night at LECOM Park.
With the game tied, 3-3, and two out in the top of the eighth, Ryan Costello delivered a two-run double to put the Miracle back in front. Costello went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the game. However, with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Deon Stafford came through with a two-out, two-run double of his own to send the game to extra innings.
Jose Miranda gave the Miracle the lead with a sacrifice-fly in the top of the frame, but committed a key error in the bottom of the 10th to allow the first Bradenton run to score. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Travis Swaggerty grounded one up the middle for an RBI infield single to give Bradenton the win.
The Marauders took the game's first lead with a run in the bottom of the first, but the Miracle responded with one in the third and two more in the fourth. The Marauders scored once in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game on Chris Sharpe's RBI single in the seventh.
Bradenton out-hit the Miracle, 14-10. Johan Quezada tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning, but could not complete a six-out save and was removed after Stafford's game-tying double in the ninth. It was the first blown save this season for Fort Myers. They had been 14-for-14. It is also their first loss when leading after six innings. They are now 18-1.
Nick Mears (2-0) earned the win for Bradenton with two shutout innings and three strikeouts in relief. Rickey Ramirez (1-1) suffered the loss for the Miracle.
The Miracle (24-14) dropped into a first place tie with Palm Beach atop the FSL South Division. Bradenton is two games back.
The four-game series concludes on Thursday night at LECOM Park. Left-hander Charlie Barnes will start for Fort Myers. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.