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Miracle take two from Stone Crabs

April 10, 2014
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Fort Myers Miracle won both games of a doubleheader Wednesday night with the Charlotte Stone Crabs 4-2 and 10-6.

In game one, the Miracle pushed across a run in the first inning off Charlotte starter Leonel Santiago. With one out, Jorge Polanco doubled into right center field. Then, Dalton Hicks rolled a 1-0 pitch from Santiago (0-1) up the middle to plate Polanco and give the Miracle a 1-0 lead.

The Stone Crabs answered in top of the second inning. Miracle starter Mason Melotakis struck Patrick Leonard with the first pitch. Then, Melotakis threw a pair of wild pitches that moved Leonard to third base. On a 3-1 pitch, Marty Gantt served a single into right field to bring in Leonard and tie the game.

In the fifth, the Miracle regained the lead with Hicks again providing the run-scoring hit. After one was retired, Santiago walked Tyler Grimes and Niko Goodrum consecutively and was replaced by manager Jared Sandberg. Charlotte reliever Jose Molina then issued another walk to Levi Michael to load the bases. After Polanco bounced into a force play, Hicks lined a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to score two more runs for the Miracle.

Up 3-1, the Miracle added another run in the bottom of the sixth with a bases loaded walk issued by Molina to Goodrum.

After three innings from Melotakis, the Twins' 2010 first round pick Alex Wimmers took the hill for just the seventh time in the last three seasons. Battling injury over the past two years, Wimmers entered the game in the fourth inning and went 3.2 innings before giving up a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Hector Guevara. Brian Gilbert nailed down his first save with a three-pitch strikeout to end game one.

Wimmers (1-0) picked up the win and allowed five hits, a run and struck out one. Melotakis received a no-decision and went three innings and gave up three hits and one run.

In game two, the Miracle jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the firs three innings. Adam Brett Walker launched his second homer of the season in the first with a two-run shot. Walker deposited a 1-1 pitch from Charlotte starter Bruedlin Suero into the stands in right center field.

In the second, the Miracle plated four runs on five hits, all with two outs. After striking out the first two hitters, Suero gave up a hit to Jonathan Murphy and walked A.J. Pettersen. Then, Levi Michael chopped a ground ball through the left side that scored Murphy. Polanco then drilled a 2-2 pitch into the gap in left center field for a triple, scoring Murphy and Pettersen. The fourth run of the inning came home with Hicks grounded to second, but Thomas Coyle committed an error allowing Polanco to cross the plate.

The Miracle added two more in the third on an RBI triple from Goodrum, who then scored on a passed ball.

Up 8-0, Miracle starter Jason Wheeler put up scoreless frames in the first three innings, but allowed Charlotte to score on a RBI double from Gantt in the fourth. The next inning, the Stone Crabs plated five runs off Wheeler to make it an 8-6 game. Tim Shibuya entered to record the final out of the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, Fort Myers answered back with two runs. Murphy earned a bases loaded walk and Pettersen drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Shibuya (1-0) pitched the final two innings without giving up a run to seal the win. In 2.1 innings, Shibuya allowed two hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts.

The Miracle (5-1) host the Stone Crabs (1-5) in the series finale Thursday night.



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