TAMPA, - Cole Nelson delivered five shutout innings with nine strikeouts to guide the Fort Myers Miracle to a 3-0 win in game one of a doubleheader with the Tampa Yankees Wednesday night. Game two was suspended due to unplayable field conditions with the Miracle up 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
In game one, Nelson (2-0) dominated the Yankees allowing just two hits in his five innings. Starting for just the second time this season, Nelson set an individual season-high for strikeouts by a starter and has now fanned 14 in nine innings over two starts.
Fort Myers took the lead in the third inning on a couple of defensive miscues by the Tampa defense. Michael Gonzales led off with a double off the right-center field wall and Anderson Hidalgo followed with a bunt single down the third base line.
With runners on the corners, Daniel Santana hit a high chopper over the pitcher's mound that Yankees shortstop Jose Mojica fumbled. Santana reached safely and Gonzales came in to score, giving the Florida State League South Division All-Star his 22nd RBI of the season.
After two were retired, a pitch from Yankees starter Sean Black was wild allowing Hidalgo to cross home plate and form a 2-0 Miracle advantage.
The Miracle added an insurance run in the seventh inning. With one out, two walks and a hit loaded the bases with Levi Michael coming to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, Michael hit a sacrifice fly to center for an RBI and a 3-0 lead.
Ricky Bowen allowed two hits in the seventh inning, but got a double play and stranded the another at third with a strikeout of Anderson Feliz to end the lgame. Bowen earned his fifth save and the Miracle pitching staff combined for 12 strikeouts.
Game two was suspended with the Miracle leading 2-0 in the middle of the fourth. Play will resume at 6 p.m. Thursday with a seven-inning game after the resumed game is completed.