The Fort Myers Miracle blew a three-run lead but recovered to defeat the Bradenton Marauders 4-3 night in front of 3,524 fans at Hammond Stadium.
The Miracle scored the first three runs of the game, all off of starter Pat Ludwig. Stephen Wickens singled in the fourth and advanced to third on a single by Byron Buxton. D.J. Hicks grounded out to bring Wickens home.
In the fifth, Mike Kvasnicka, Levi Michael, A.J. Pettersen all singled to load the bases. J.D. Williams followed with single of his own to plate Kvasnicka. Wickens then flew out to center to score Michael from third to give the Miracle a 3-0 lead.
The Marauders bounced back to tie the game in the sixth. Carlos Mesa tagged Chad Rodgers for a solo home run to lead off the frame. Benji Gonzalez and Gift Ngoepe then singled. After a ground out advanced the runners, Willy Garcia grounded out to bring in Gonzalez and move Ngoepe to third. Ngoepe scored from third to tie the game 3-3 when Rodgers threw a wild pitch to the backstop.
The Miracle took the lead for good in their half of the sixth. Robert Kilcrease issued a leadoff walk to Kennys Vargas. Matt Koch came up and ripped a double that rolled to the wall, allowing Vargas to score easily to make it 4-3.
Rodgers settled down to retire the sides in order in the seventh and eighth. He got the win.
Zack Jones inherited a runner at first from Rodgers in the ninth, but he struck out all three batters he faced to end the game. Jones picked up his team-leading 14th save.
Miracle starter Taylor Rogers, in a tune up for the postseason, tossed four scoreless innings. He allowed just one single, no walks and struck out five.
Ludwig gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out four.
The Miracle travel to Bradenton Sataurday to face the Marauders at 6:30 p.m.