What an interesting game! Clearwater Threshers extended their winning steak to five in row in what turned out to be an exciting 7-4 win. The game was not really decided until the last out in the top of the ninth with two outs and the tying run for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the on-deck circle. It took a great running catch by Simon Muzziotti just before hitting the wall in deep right center to end the game. Watch HERE.
It looked like the Threshers had the game well in hand going into the ninth with a 7-1 lead. Shutdown closer Jonathan Hennigan came on in the ninth for what appeared to be getting some work in. He was charged with three runs runs in the inning and had to be relieved by Grant Dyer to get the final out. Still, it took the great Muzziotti running catch for the final out to insure the win and avoid possible disaster.
Muzziotti had another great game after hitting his first home run of the season Saturday night against Dunedin. Not only did he make the catch of the season so far but he singled in the third Threshers run in the second inning. Watch HERE. In his last two games Simon has gone 6 for 11 to raise his batting average to a season high .301, 12th best in the league.
As it turned out, Alec Bohm’s second home run, in back-t0-back games, was a key hit in giving the Threshers a 5-1 lead after four innings. His two-run, no-doubt-it, blast was hit into the Threshers bullpen in left. Watch HERE.
Starter Damon Jones was dominating in allowing only an unearned run in the first inning on his throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first. He struck out nine in six innings of work, throwing 86 pitches. Still, he had good stuff even in the his last inning of work by getting two strikeouts. Watch his sixth inning strikeouts, HERE.
The lefty now leads the the FSL with a 0.76 ERA and extended his league lead in strikeouts with 52 in only 35.1 innings in seven starts. Jones picked up his first win of the season to go 1-2 on the season.
The key to the Threshers win was a balanced attack. In addition to the Bohm and Mizziotti RBIs, the other Threshers who had RBI hits were Nick Maton, Daniel Brito, Colby Fitch and Edgar Cabral.
Maton has been on fire with the bat. After going 3 for 5 last night, he is now hitting .421 over his last ten games and a remarkable .533 ( 16 for 30) with runners in scoring position for the season. Overall, he is hitting .308 good enough for the sixth best in batting average in the FSL. Watch his RBI double for the Threshers first run, HERE.
In the last two Threshers wins Cabral has been the catcher. He went 5 for 9 with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 3 RBIs, see last night’s RBI, HERE. He has raised his batting average to .246 and his OPS to .852 for the season.
In its last two games, the Threshers have scored 16 runs on 34 hits. Last night, every batter in the lineup had at least one base hit except the slumping Jhailyn Ortiz who struck out four times for the “golden sombrero”.
The Threshers picked up a half game on the Northern division leading Dunedin Blue Jays, who were rained out last night, to go to three games off the pace in the first half race. Even with the current five game winning streak, the Threshers are still two games under .500 at 17-19 on the season.