BRADENTON - The Fort Myers Miracle split a pair with the Bradenton Marauders Thursday night thanks to a 2-1 win in the nightcap. The Miracle lost 5-2, in a resumption of a game postponed earlier.
In game one, play began in the fourth inning with Bradenton leading 2-0. Originally started on Aug. 18, the Marauders scored two runs off starter David Hurlbut.
The Miracle got a run back in the top of the fifth in Thursday's completion. With two on and two out, Byron Buxton beat out an infield hit to score Mike Kvasnicka from third base and get Fort Myers on the board, 2-1.
Bradenton answered with a pair of runs in the fifth off Miracle reliever Steven Gruver. Willy Garcia singled through the left side to score two runs and extend the Marauder lead to 4-1.
In the seventh, Dan Gamache smacked a two-out, RBI double off Miracle reliever Nelvin Fuentes to bring in another Marauder run.
Adrian Sampson started on Aug. 18 and resumed for the Marauders in game one. Sampson (5-8) went all nine innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits. In the ninth, Sampson allowed a solo homer to Kvasnicka, but retired the side for the win.
Hurlbut (1-1) collected the loss, but did not pitch Thursday. Gruver went three innings and allowed two runs while Fuentes pitched two innings yielding one run.
In game two, Miracle starter Jason Wheeler pitched six strong innings with just one run allowed on six hits, but recorded the final outs in the sixth in a 1-1 tie. In the seventh, the Miracle pushed across the eventual game-winning run to get Wheeler (9-4) the victory.
With two outs, Kvasnicka occupied first after reaching on a fielder's choice. Marauder reliever Orlando Castro saw Kvasnicka take off for second base and threw over to Bradenton first baseman Jose Osuna. After having trouble getting the ball out of his glove, Osuna's delayed throw to second was not in time to get Kvasnicka.
Then, on an 0-2 pitch, J.D. Williams grounded a ball down the first base line to bring Kvasnicka home and give the Miracle a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Adrian Salcedo worked around a walk and a hit to nail down his second save of the season.
The Miracle had a 1-0 lead on a first inning sacrifice fly by D.J. Hicks until the fourth inning. The Marauders tied the game on a RBI triple by Osuna.
The Miracle (77-55, 32-33) return to Hammond Stadium for a 7:05 p.m. start Friday against the Marauders.