BRADENTON - The Fort Myers Miracle held onto a 7-6 win over the on Thursday night to avoid a sweep.
The Marauders pushed across the first run of the game in the third inning. Walker Gourley led off with a double into left field off Miracle starter Matt Tomshaw. Jacob Stallings laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Gourley to third. Raul Fortunato then hit an 0-1 pitch that bounced over Tomshaw (7-1) to second baseman Niko Goodrum. Gourley dashed home as Goodrum threw out Fortunato, 1-0.
After for scoreless innings for Bradenton starter John Kuchno, the Miracle posted four runs in the fifth with two outs. Mike Gonzales led off with a walk, but Kuchno (3-8) struck out Travis Harrison and got Dalton Hicks to ground out to second.
Adam Brett Walker stepped up with a runner at second and blasted a 1-1 pitch over the center field wall to give the Miracle a 2-1 lead. Walker's homer was his second in as many days and his FSL-leading 17th of the season.
Jairo Rodriguez continued the rally with a single on an 0-2 pitch into center. Goodrum then laced a double off of Gourley's mitt in left field to bring in Rodriguez. After a Jorge Polanco single, Max Kepler ripped a base hit through the right side to bring in Goodrum, 4-1.
Fort Myers added three more runs in the sixth off Bradenton reliever Ryan Hafner. Gonzales started the inning being hit by a pitch. Harrison doubled into left to put runners at second and third. Hicks then laced a double into left center to score two runs. Two batters later, Goodrum singled into center to plate Hicks and give the Miracle a 7-1 lead.
The Marauders began chipping away at Tomshaw in the sixth. After two outs, Tomshaw surrendered four runs on six consecutive hits. Josh Bell drove in one with a single followed by a run-scoring double from Jose Osuna. Jordan Sterenka drove in two with a single through the left side to cut the Miracle lead to 7-5.
Tomshaw exited after 5.2 innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits with a pair of strikeouts. Brandon Peterson took over in the sixth to get the final out.
Bradenton pulled to a one-run deficit when Adam Frazier picked up a RBI double off Peterson in the seventh, 7-6.
Peterson recorded the first out of the eighth and then Mason Melotakis recorded the final two outs. Tyler Jones entered for the Miracle in the ninth inning. Jones struck out Fortunato and got Frazier to ground out to short. Then, Max Moroff coaxed a walk. Jones struck out Josh Bell on a slider in the dirt, but Jairo Rodriguez could not prevent the ball from reaching the backstop and Bell reached on the wild pitch. As Jose Osuna was coming to the plate, a rain storm interrupted play for 56 minutes.
Whn play resumed, Jones struck out Osuna on four pitches to record his 10th save of the season.
The Miracle (49-33, 8-5) begin a three-game series with the Charlotte Stone Crabs Friday at Hammond Stadium.