The Fort Myers Miracle outlasted the Clearwater Threshers 12-11 in a wild game at Hammond Stadium Saturday in front of 3,112 fans.
With the game tied 11-11 in the bottom of the ninth, the Miracle loaded the bases with one out. Clearwater brought five defenders into the infield with Mike Kvasnicka at the plate and Kvasnicka grounded a ball right to Brock Stassi at first base. Stassi dropped the routine grounder, collected it and threw home, but the bobble was enough to allow J.D. Williams to score the winning run to walk it off for the Miracle.
The Threshers tied the game in the top half of the ninth against Zack Jones. With the Miracle up 11-10 with two outs and the tying run on third, Harold Martinez hit a liner to right field. Kvasnicka charged in for the catch, but overran the ball and it sailed over his head to allow the tying run to score from third.
Clearwater jumped out to an 8-3 on a three-run homer by Chris Serritella in the fourth, but the lead would not long. Kennys Vargas blasted a pair of three-run homers, the first that made it 8-6 and the second which tied the game 9-9 in the sixth.
In the eighth, Vargas drew the second of his three walks and advanced to third. With one out, Stephen Wickens lifted a fly ball into center field and Vargas was able to slide head first into home and safely touch the plate before Logan Moore could tag him to put the Miracle up 10-9. Fort Myers added an important insurance run later in the inning on an error by Jose Mojica that allowed Kvasnicka to score.
The five-run deficit is the largest the Miracle have overcome this season. It is their fourth win in a row and their ninth victory in the last 11 games. The Miracle improved their overall record to 64-37 which makes their .634 winning percentage the best in full season affiliated baseball.
Vargas now has 17 home runs. His six RBI in one game are the most by a Miracle player this season.
Jones suffered the blown save was awarded his fourth win. Start Tyler Duffey lasted just 3 1/3 innings and was tagged for seven hits and seven runs, although two were unearned.
The Miracle are 6-0 against Clearwater this season and go for the season sweep against the Threshers at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.