FORT MYERS, Fla. (September 5, 2017) - The Fort Myers Miracle (0-1) fell a run short in their 3-2 loss to the Palm Beach Cardinals (1-0) on Game One of the FSL South Championship Series on Tuesday night. Thomas Spitz provided the winning hit, a two-run double in the top of the sixth inning.
The Miracle jumped out early in the first with a Brent Rooker RBI-single to score Brandon Lopez. RHP Jake Woodford (W, 1-0) allowed three first inning hits, but surrendered just one through the rest of his six innings.
LHP Lewis Thorpe matched Woodford through five. In the third, Spitz's one-out triple was plated with a two-out single from Chris Chinea. The lefty Thorpe fanned five batters over his frames, leaving the game tied at one.
LHP Andrew Vasquez (L, 0-1) came out for the sixth. After issuing a leadoff walk to Blake Drake, Luke Dykstra singled with one out to put a pair on base. Vasquez was replaced by LHP Tyler Jay after he struck out Jose Martinez. Jay's batter was Spitz with two down who belted a ball off the dead-centerfield wall, scoring a pair to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.
The Miracle made their comeback effort by putting the first two on base in the eighth. Rooker drove in Sean Miller with a sacrifice fly, and the Miracle had runners on first and second after a Zander Wiel walk. LHP Ian McKinney struck out Mitchell Kranson followed by a pitching change. RHP Eric Carter (Sv, 1) froze Jermaine Palacios on a two-strike curveball to end the eighth.
Down 3-2 in the 9th, Tanner English kept the game alive against Carter with a two-out double to put the tying run at second. Miller battled with Carter who ultimately induced a fly ball out to left field to end the game with a 3-2 final.
The two teams shift the series to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Wednesday night where the best-of-three set will be decided. A pair of nine-inning games are scheduled with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 PM ET on Wednesday. Should the Miracle win the first game (Game Two of the series), an deciding third game in the series will be played following the conclusion of Game Two. RHP Sean Poppen and RHP Ramon Santos battle in Game Two with Game Three pitchers TBD.
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