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Miracle blitz Hammerheads 14-1

Face Marauders in playoffs

August 31, 2014
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

JUPITER - The Fort Myers Miracle closed out the regular season with a 14-1 drubbing of the Jupiter Hammerheads Sunday morning at Roger Dean Stadium.

With a win in the first of two games Sunday, the Bradenton Marauders clinched the second-half South Division championship in the Florida State League. The Miracle travel to Bradenton Tuesday to face the Marauders at 6:30 p.m. in game one of the best-of-three Division Championship Series.

JetBlue Park is guaranteed at least one home playoff game on Wednesday.

The Miracle blitzed Jupiter starter Cody Crabaugh early in the game, eventually forcing Hammerheads manager Brian Schneider to go to the bullpen in the third inning. Stuart Turner got the Miracle offense going with a two-run homer off Crabaugh (1-2) in the second inning. After Dalton Hicks singled, Turner smashed a first pitch that skipped off the top of the wall in left field and over for a home run, his seventh of the season.

In the third, the Miracle broke the game open with five runs on four hits and 10 batters sent to the plate. Jason Kanzler started the frame by earning a walk. After Niko Goodrum popped out to first, Kanzler stole second base. Max Kepler then pulled a single through the right side to bring in Kanzler. Crabaugh then issued a walk to Travis Harrison and Hicks lashed a single into right field as the next hitter to score Kepler. Turner tapped out to the pitcher, but moved the runners to second and third with two outs. Adam Brett Walker coaxed a walk and Tyler Grimes drove in a pair of runs with a line drive to center field. Bryan Haar capped the scoring with a RBI single through the left side making it 7-0.

Three more Miracle runs crossed the plate in the sixth. Haar led off with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Kanzler. Goodrum ripped a single to right scoring Haar. Kepler followed with another RBI base hit to center and, two batters later, Hicks drove in a run with a sacrifice fly for a 10-0 advantage.

The offense continued to surge in the seventh with four more runs. The first four hitters reached base, including a RBI double by Grimes. Goodrum then brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Kepler unleashed his third RBI hit of the morning with a double to right center. The four-run inning was complete after a RBI ground out from Harrison.

Fort Myers' 14 runs matches a season-high for the most scored in an individual game this season.

Miracle starter Steven Gruver went two scoreless innings in a tune-up for the playoffs. Tyler Jones came on in relief in the third and tossed three scoreless frames. Allowing a hit to the lead-off man, Jones (3-3) retired the next nine hitters consecutively.

Alex Muren allowed the only run scored by Jupiter. After a scoreless sixth, Muren got the first two outs of the seventh before allowing a hit and a walk. Exiting with an injury, Muren was replaced by Todd Van Steensel. Yosmany Guerra greeted Van Steensel with a RBI single to right. Van Steensel retired the last out of the seventh and the final six over the last two innings to close out the 14-1 victory in the final regular season game.

The Miracle finish the season 82-57 overall and 41-29 in the second half. The 82 wins is the second-most in the history of the team since moving to Fort Myers in 1992.



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