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Tigers edge Miracle 4-3 in 11 innings

June 7, 2014
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Lakeland Tigers edged the Fort Myers Miracle 4-3 in 11 innings Friday night at Hammond Stadium.

Trailing 3-1 going into the eighth inning, Lakeland scored a pair of runs to tie it and force extra innings. After giving up just one run in seven innings, Miracle starter Jose Berrios gave up a bunt single to Harold Castro. Then, Drew Longley lifted a single into center field. After a getting Chad Wright popped out to to third base in foul ground, Berrios allowed a RBI single to Curt Powell.

After Powell knocked in Longley, Tyler Grimes' throw from center field sailed over catcher Stuart Turner and allowed the runners to advance to second and third. Jeff McVaney followed with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game.

Berrios left after the eighth and received a no decision. With a season-high in innings pitched, Berrios yielded three runs, two earned, on eight hits with no walks and nine punch outs.

Fort Myers stranded a base runner in the 10th and 11th innings. In the 10th, with Stuart Turner at third base and two outs, Jorge Polanco sent a drive into the right field corner. McVaney raced over and made a full extension layout catch while crashing into the bullpen wall to save the game for Lakeland.

In the eleventh, the Tigers got the leadoff man aboard with McVaney reached on an error by Niko Goodrum. Lance Durhan followed with a single into right off Miracle reliever Madison Boer that put runners on the corners with no outs. Conner Harrell then ripped a first pitch from Boer (0-1) through the left side to push across the go-ahead run.

The Miracle got a one-out single by Travis Harrison off Lakeland closer Angel Nesbitt. A ground ball to short by Adam Brett Walker moved Harrison to second. With Dalton Hicks in the box, Nesbitt tossed a wild pitch that moved the tying run to third base. Nesbitt rallied to strike out Hicks and end the game to record his 12th save of the season.

Boer took the loss, giving up an unearned run on two hits in the eleventh.

The Miracle (35-25) finish a four-game series and eight-game homestand with the Tigers (39-22) Saturday.



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