Nicolino rebounds against Miracle

Florida native brings FSL-leading ERA to 2.38 with victory

By Jonathan Raymond / Special to | June 26, 2013 6:32 PM ET

Justin Nicolino faced off against the powerful Fort Myers lineup on June 21 and took his lumps, allowing three runs on six hits in four innings.

On Wednesday, though, he got a second shot at them and didn't waste it.

The third-ranked Marlins prospect surrendered just one run this time on two hits without a walk while striking out two over a season-high seven innings to deliver Class A Advanced Jupiter a 5-3 victory.

"For me, especially doing it against Fort Myers, [it's nice]," said Nicolino. "They've been one of the hottest teams and I pitched against them five days ago, so to turn it around and go seven, I'm really happy about it. I did give up the home run, but that's baseball. You just get back after it."

After mostly working three or four innings a start while with Class A Lansing in the Toronto system last year, he said he's enjoyed the move up to the Florida State League and the opportunity, now with Miami, to extend himself as a starter.

His outing Wednesday was his fourth of at least six innings this year and only twice has he pitched less than five frames.

"That's the biggest thing, each you grow as a player. Just because you want to be able to see how your stuff is in the sixth and seventh innings, it's always fun whenever you go out there that long," He said. "To stay out there 'til the seventh and turn over the lineup a few times, play against some of the best, makes it that much better."

The 21-year-old lefty's effort brought his FSL-leading ERA down to 2.38 in 79 1/3 innings this year. He has 49 strikeouts to just 15 walks.

A native of Orlando, Nicolino added he's enjoyed settling in with his new organization and playing so close to home.

"It's probably been the best thing of my career so far. My parents get to come, my girlfriend gets to come out and see me. I'm spending a lot more time with family and friends," he said.

Alex Burg drove in two runs to power the Hammerheads offense. No. 2 Twins prospect Byron Buxton plated a run for the Miracle in the loss.

Jonathan Raymond 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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