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Sands leads Miracle past Hammerheads

Fort Myers club splits weekend series with Jupiter

June 24, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

JUPITER, Fla. Cole Sands tossed five hitless innings to lead the Miracle to a 4-0 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads Sunday afternoon at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

The win clinched a series split of the four-game set for the Miracle. Sands (1-1), who threw just 60 pitches in his first start since being activated from the injured list, faced the minimum and struck out six to earn his first High-A win.

Sands walked Victor Victor Mesa to open the bottom of the first, but caught Mesa stealing second base when he left too soon from first. Sands proceeded to set down the next 14 hitters he faced and threw 38 pitches for strikes.

Johan Quezada and Derek Molina completed the shutout for the Miracle, each pitching a pair of scoreless innings and striking out three. Quezada allowed the first Jupiter hit, a two-out single to Luis Arcaya in the sixth. Jupiter had just three hits in the game, after putting up 35 in the first three games of the series.

The Miracle opened the scoring in the second when Ryan Costello hit a mammoth solo home run to right, his sixth of the season. Michael Helman doubled the lead in the fourth inning with an RBI single.

Trevor Larnach made it 3-0 with an RBI double in the fifth, his league-leading 25th double of the season. Ryan Jeffers followed with an RBI single.

Chris Vallimont (0-1) suffered the loss for Jupiter in his High-A debut. The right-hander went five innings and allowed all four Miracle runs on nine hits. He struck out three.

The Miracle have the day off Monday before opening a three-game series against the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Tuesday night. Right-hander Jhoan Duran will start for the Miracle. First pitch from Charlotte Sports Park is 6:30 p.m.

- Marshall Kelner, Fort Myers Miracle

Hammerheads 7, Miracle 2

JUPITER, Fla. Gabriel Maciel reached base five times, but the Jupiter Hammerheads pulled away late for a 7-2 victory over the Miracle Saturday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Maciel had two singles, a walk and was hit by a pitch twice. He also stole a base and scored both runs for the Miracle. In three games since his call up from Low-A Cedar Rapids, he is 5-for-10 with three walks and six runs scored.

Down 1-0 entering the fifth, Trevor Larnach tied the game for the Miracle with an RBI double into the left field corner. Larnach leads the FSL with 24 doubles and his .318 average is also tops in the league. He finished 2-for-4.

Jupiter went back in front 3-1 with a pair of runs in the sixth. B.J. Lopez delivered an RBI double and Victor Victor Mesa had an RBI single, one of his four hits in the game. He also drove in three.

Fort Myers loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, but only came up with one run on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Jeffers. Jupiter scored four times in the bottom of the frame to break open the game. The Hammerheads out-hit the Miracle, 13-8. Fort Myers was just 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.

Jordan Balazovic started for the Miracle and allowed one run on six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five, taking a no-decision. Joe Record (1-2) suffered the loss in relief. Tyler Beck pitched a scoreless inning out of the Fort Myers bullpen with a strikeout in his professional debut.

Edward Cabrera started for Jupiter and also took a no-decision. He allowed a run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five innings. Sean Guenther (3-0) picked up the win in relief.

- Marshall Kelner, Fort Myers Miracle

Miracle 11, Hammerheads 7

JUPITER, Fla. The Miracle scored six runs in the second inning, Zach Neff tossed 3.2 perfect innings in relief and Fort Myers held on to beat Jupiter Friday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, 11-7.

Neff (1-0), just called up from Low-A Cedar Rapids, was summoned with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth. The Miracle led at the time, 8-7, and Neff induced a 6-4-3 double play grounder off the bat of Micah Brown to end the threat. The left-hander struck out four. He threw 35 pitches, 28 for strikes.

Jordan Holloway (2-4) started for Jupiter and needed only eight pitches to retire the Miracle in the first. In the second, however, the first eight batters reached and Holloway could not escape the inning. He issued three consecutive walks at one point, including two with the bases loaded.

Ryan Jeffers, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, started the big rally with a single into center on an 0-2 hanging breaking ball. Trey Cabbage brought home the first run with a booming RBI double off the center field wall. Ernie De La Trinidad, Ryan Costello, Gabriel Maciel, Royce Lewis and Jeffers all picked up runs batted in.

Jupiter kept fighting back, but never was able to catch the Miracle. The Hammerheads scored a pair in the bottom of the second and two more in the third on Jerar Encarnacion's second home run in as many games. After the Miracle went up 8-4 in the fourth on a two-run single by Jeffers, the Hammerheads responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to get within one. Jhonny Santos and Micah Brown had back-to-back RBI doubles. Victor Victor Mesa delivered a sacrifice fly.

The Miracle added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning on a two-run double by Trevor Larnach. It was his league-leading 23rd double of the season. De La Trinidad brought home another run in the ninth with an RBI single.

After Neff departed, Alex Phillips pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out two to preserve the win. Miracle starter Tyler Watson struggled, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. He took a no-decision.

Seven of nine Miracle starters recorded a hit and five delivered multi-hit games. Fort Myers was 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and is 14-for-31 in the first two games of the series.

- Marshall Kelner, Fort Myers Miracle



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