FORT MYERS - Tyler Grimes fourth hit of the evening delivered a comeback walk-off win for the Fort Myers Miracle, 7-6, in 12 innings, over the Brevard County Manatees on Tuesday.
Tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the 12th inning, Mike Gonzales led off with a double into left center field off of Manatees reliever Trevor Seidenberger. A sacrifice bunt by Stuart Turner moved Gonzales to over, pitcher Tim Shibuya pinch ran at third base. After Seidenberger (0-1) walked Niko Goodrum, Grimes roped a 2-2 pitch past a drawn-in infield to score Shibuya and star the walk-off celebration.
Only the third walk-off win of the season, the Miracle had to overcome two multiple run deficits including a two-run hole in the eleventh inning. Brevard County jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI ground out by Tyrone Taylor off Miracle starter Ethan Mildren.
Fort Myers’ pitcher Matt Tomshaw (18) won his ninth game Monday night in a 4-2 win over the Brevard County Manatees. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Michael Reed hit a solo homer in the third with two outs to give the Manatees a 2-0 advantage. Brevard County extended the lead to 4-0 with a double steal of home and a RBI double by Victor Roache.
Mildren exited the game after six innings and four runs given up on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in a no decision.
Manatees starter Tyler Wagner was lights out through seven innings. Wagner limited the Miracle to just four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
After Wagner exited the game, the Miracle immediately got the offense cooking with a RBI double off the wall in left from Jorge Polanco.
Down 4-1 entering the ninth, Gonzales started the rally with a lead-off walk against Manatees closer Mark Williams. A wild pitch moved Gonzales to second and Turner's grounder to short pushed him to third. Williams then walked Goodrum. Grimes stepped up and delivered his first RBI of the night with a double into the corner in left on an 0-2 pitch. Gonzales scored to cut the Brevard County lead to 4-2.
Manatees manager Joe Ayrault removed Williams and brought in Stephen Peterson to face Aderling Mejia. Driving in a run with a ground out to short, Mejia whittled the Manatees advantage to one run. Polanco earned a walk to continue the game and set the stage for Travis Harrison.
Falling behind in the count 1-2, Harrison laced a line drive into center field to plate Grimes and send the game to extra innings.
The Miracle fell behind the Manatees again in the top of the 11th. Brevard County pushed across two runs on a two-run, two-out double by Brandon Macias. Miracle reliever Madison Boer struck out the first two batters of the inning, but surrendered a double down the left field line to Alfredo Rodriguez. After walking Greg Hopkins, Boer's 1-0 pitch to Macias was hit into right center field to give Brevard County a 6-4 lead.
For a second time, the Miracle would be down to a final out before rallying to tie the game. In the bottom of the 11th, Mejia led off with a walk from Seidenberger. Polanco struck out and Harrison hit into a force play to retire Mejia at second. With two outs and on a 1-0 pitch, Dalton Hicks crushed a tape measure homer to deep right field to bring the Miracle even 6-6 and force a 12th inning for Grimes' heroics.
Grimes finished the evening 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Steven Gruver picked up the win and improved to 2-5 with a scoreless top of the 12th.
The Miracle (62-37, 21-9) go for the season and series sweep of the Manatees (51-42, 15-12) on Wednesday morning at 11:35 a.m. Hammond Stadium will be transformed into a wet and wild waterpark for Big Splash. All tickets for Wednesday are $8 and the ticket office will be open at 9 a.m.