Mussels Late-Inning Comeback Falls Short in 11-Inning Thriller
FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 5, 2023) – Despite a game-tying triple from Jorel Ortega in the bottom of the ninth, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels fell to the Dunedin Blue Jays 7-6 in 11 innings Friday at Hammond Stadium. Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth with one out,
FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 5, 2023) – Despite a game-tying triple from Jorel Ortega in the bottom of the ninth, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels fell to the Dunedin Blue Jays 7-6 in 11 innings Friday at Hammond Stadium.
Trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth with one out, Alec Sayre walked to place the tying run on base for Fort Myers (13-12). After a strikeout, an energetic crowd of 3,491 fans cheered on Ortega who came to the plate with Fort Myers down to its last out. On the first pitch he saw, he scorched a line drive to right-center that evaded the leaping attempt of Jaden Rudd by a matter of inches to tie the game at 5-5.
After both teams failed to score in the tenth, Deschamps led off the top of the eleventh with a two-run blast that just snuck over the wall in right-center to give Dunedin a 7-5 lead.
In the bottom of the eleventh, Cespedes was placed on second as the Mussels’ automatic runner. After two quick outs, Maddux Houghton lined a single to left field to bring in the run and make it 7-6. Ortega followed with a ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Friday’s results marked the third straight night that Dunedin bested Fort Myers by exactly one run.
The Mussels got the scoring going in the first inning when Ortega and Dalton Shuffield walked to open the inning. One batter later, Andrew Cossetti seared a ground ball down the right-field line to bring around Ortega from second to give the Mussels a 1-0 lead. Later that frame with two outs, Shuffield scored on a wild pitch to extend the Fort Myers lead to 2-0.
With the same score in the top of the second and one out, Jaden Rudd singled and Roque Salinas reached on an error by pitcher Develson Aria. After a flyout, J.C. Masson notched a two-out single to right field to score Rudd and cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the top of the third with one down, Manuel Beltre walked and advanced to second on a ground out. Glenn Santiago followed with a line-drive single to center to drive in the run and tie the game at two.
Still tied at two in the top of the fourth, Nicholas Deschamps singled with one out. After a strikeout, Adrian Pinto socked a flyball off the base of the wall in left-center field to score Deschamps from first and give the Blue Jays a 3-2 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sayre led off with a walk. One batter later, Maddux Houghton pummeled a home run onto the berm in left-center field to give the Mussels their first lead of the night at 4-3. The ball traveled a projected distance of 390 feet and left the bat at 102 miles per hour.
With 2.1 scoreless relief innings on the night, Rickey Mineo came out for the top of the eighth holding onto a 4-3 lead. After Peyton Williams singled and Santiago walked, Jackson Hicks entered the game and allowed a one-out double to Salinas that scored both runs and gave Dunedin a 5-4 advantage.
The Mussels will look to bounce back Saturday with C.J. Culpepper (0-1, 2.77) on the mound against the Yondrei Rojas (1-1, 8.68) of the Blue Jays. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.