St. Lucie headed to FSL championship

No. 10 Mets prospect Marte smacks walk-off single in the 10th

Jefry Marte batted .248 with 55 RBIs in 131 regular season games. (Mark LoMoglio/

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | September 8, 2011 7:19 PM

Jefry Marte literally jumped for joy when he realized his 10th-inning line drive into center field would seal St. Lucie's ticket to the Florida State League Championship Series.

Marte finalized the Class A Advanced Mets' comeback in a 4-3 victory Thursday night over the visiting Bradenton Marauders, which concluded the clubs' best-of-3 semifinal series.

St. Lucie will attempt to become the first South Division squad to claim the FSL title since it swept Dunedin in 2006. This time around, the club will oppose Daytona in a best-of-5 set that begins Friday.

"This is a beautiful experience. Not everybody gets to do this," said Marte, a the 2011 Futures Game selection, through translator and teammate Gilbert Gomez. "Every day we were fighting. We knew we were better than them."

The Mets' No. 10 prospect went 2-for-4 and scored a run in their 4-2 Game 1 win and 0-for-3 in their 10-0 loss in Game 2, anticipated one pitch when he stood in against the Marauders' fifth pitcher, Victor Black.

"Their pitcher [Victor Black] was throwing 95, 97 mph," said Marte, who plated in-game insertion Travis Ozga on the play. "I knew he was going to throw me a fastball, and I was trying to go the opposite field.

"I was jumping high into the air because I knew it was going to score the run."

The 20-year-old native of the Dominican Republic batted .248 with 55 RBIs in 131 regular season games.

Marauders starter Nathan Baker allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over seven innings. Baker walked one and struck out five. He was in line for the win before reliever Ryan Beckman allowed the Mets' game-tying run in the eighth. New York's No. 2 prospect, Wilmer Flores, singled home Pedro Zapata with two outs in the frame.

Zapata, the left fielder in the leadoff spot, also smacked a solo shot off of Baker in the sixth.

St. Lucie starter Gregory Peavey was also strong for seven innings. Peavey gave up two runs on six hits and three walks. He fanned six.

Reliever Jeffrey Kaplan (1-0) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless frames to earn the win.

In other Florida State League playoff action:
Cubs 4, Blue Jays 3

Dunedin starter Asher Wojciechowski completed five scoreless innings and Brad Glenn provided a two-run homer in the eighth, but that was not enough for the Jays as Daytona charged four runs to Frank Gailey and Aaron Loup (1-1) in the bottom of the frame. Cubs center fielder Matt Szczur singled in the game-winning run. Box score

Andrew Pentis 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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