Gamel, Manatees avoid sweep in FSL Finals

Third baseman powers offense and Brevard County survives furious finish

Mat Gamel connected on his second homer of the playoffs for Brevard County. (Jerry Hale/

September 10, 2007 3:16 PM

Mat Gamel homered and drove in three runs as visiting Brevard County climbed back into the Florida State League Championship Series with a 5-4 win over Clearwater on Monday.

The Manatees' victory cut the Threshers' advantage to 2-1 in the best-of-5 series with Game 4 slated for Tuesday in Clearwater.

Gamel ripped an RBI double during a three-run first inning. The 22-year-old third baseman slugged his second homer of the playoffs, a two-run shot, in the second to cap Brevard County's scoring.

"It was a great win for us because if we lose, we're done," said Gamel, who had a 33-game hitting streak during the regular season, second longest in league history. "We just tried to come out and play our game, and we played well."

Gamel said he hit his second-inning homer on a change-up.

"I was just trying to react to the ball. It was out over the plate and I got a good swing at it," he said.

Michael Bell smacked an RBI groundout and Freddy Parejo chipped in a run-scoring single during the three-run first.

Manatees starter Mike McClendon (1-0) allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking three over five innings to pick up the win. Ben Stanczyk gave up a run on a hit and two walks, striking out one over 3 1/3 frames and Kevin Roberts got the last two outs, fanning Jeremy Slayden with the tying run on third to notch his first save.

Slayden smacked an RBI double in the first and belted a solo shot, his first of the postseason, in the fifth. Jake Blalock drove home a run with a double in the third and Jason Donald had an RBI forceout in the ninth for the Threshers.

Clearwater starter Zac Stott (0-1) surrendered three runs on four hits and a walk while recording two outs to take the loss. Alexander Concepcion tossed eight strong frames, yielding two runs on six hits and a walk, fanning seven.

Alan Friedman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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