TAMPA, Fla. - Another late-inning comeback attempt came up short, with the Brevard County Manatees leaving the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning in a 7-3 loss at to the Tampa Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday night.
A hit by pitch, an error and a walk loaded up the bases for leadoff man D'Vontrey Richardson, but when he crushed the ball to left-center field it was Mason Williams who made a highlight-reel diving catch on the warning track to end the game.
Though the Manatees (21-28 second half, 58-58 overall) only had four hits in the game, the first three were triples. It was the first time this season that Brevard County had a trio of three-baggers.
D'Vontrey Richardson sped around for his first triple of the year in the fourth inning, scoring on Mitch Haniger's bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
At the time, that run tied the game at 1-1 after Tampa (22-26, 50-66) had scored in the bottom of the first inning on a leadoff single by Mason Williams and Rob Refsnyder's RBI triple.
Tampa wasted no time retaking the lead in the bottom of the fourth, using a walk, a double and a fielder's choice to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Snyder's second homer of the season was a two-run shot in the fifth that extended the Yankees' lead to 4-1.
The Manatees fought back as Richardson opened the sixth by reaching on an error, the first of two committed by the Tampa defense. Two batters later, Nick Ramirez hit his third career triple - all of which have come this season - to drive in the first run of the inning.
Then Mitch Haniger's bid for a home run in the next at-bat fell just shy of the left-center field wall. He sped around for his third three-bagger of the year, but would be stranded on third.
The 4-3 lead that Tampa had going into the bottom of the sixth would have been enough, but against Manatees reliever Dan Meadows they were able to add three more runs. Meadows gave up back-to-back singles, then walked a batter to load the bases.
One of Brevard County's four errors on the evening allowed a run to score and put Mason Williams on base, which kept the bases loaded. Refsnyder's sacrifice fly would score Jeff Farnham from third.
When Williams stole second with Ben Gamel batting, the throw down to second sailed in to center field and allowed Jose Toussen to walk home. Williams also advanced to third on the play and after walking both Gamel and Peter O'Brien, Meadows was able to escape the inning with the bases left loaded.
Brevard County starting pitcher Brent Suter (7-8, 3.31 ERA) was hit with the loss, though two of the four runs he was charged with were unearned. Suter surrendered seven hits and walked two men, but recorded five strikeouts in his five innings of work.
After Meadows, Santo Manzanillo finished the final two innings of the game by allowing only one hit with a strikeout.
Tampa hurler Scottie Allen turned in another quality start, his 12th of the year, as he gave up three runs in six innings of work. Just two of his runs were earned, as he held the Manatees to three hits - all triples - with one walk and four strikeouts.
Brevard County will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on the Yankees in Tampa again on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Jacob Barnes (7-5, 3.22) will start for the 'Tees against Bryan Mitchell (4-10, 4.75) of the Yankees.