St. Lucie Mets Win FSL Southern Division Crown
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ST. LUCIE METS!
2011 FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE SOUTHERN DIVISION CHAMPIONS
With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and the score knotted at 3-3, St. Lucie had runners on first and second when Jefry Marte singled to CF to drive home Travis Ozga with the winning run. The victory made Florida State League Southern Division Champions of the St. Lucie Mets tonite, as they defeated Bradenton by a score of 4-3.
Starting pitcher Greg Peavey delivered for the Mets tonight by going 7 innings, while giving up 6 hits, 2 ER’s, 3 walks and striking out 6. Jeff Kaplan got the win by getting the last out in the 8th, and then setting the Marauders down in the 9th and 10th to salt away the victory. For Kaplan the line reads: 2.1 IP 1 hit, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K’s.
The game see-sawed back and forth, with the Mets scoring first. Stefan Welch led off the bottom of the 3rd with a single to RF. With one out, Cesar Puello reached first on a throwing error by the pitcher, Nathan Baker, enabling Welch to go to third. With Puello attempting to steal second, the catcher Carlos Paulino threw the ball into CF for an error allowing Welch to score with the first run.
Bradenton scored the tying run in the top of the 4th, with one out LF Adalberto Santos doubled to left, DH Ramon Cabrera walked. After a strikeout, CF Evan Chambers doubled to left scoring Santos, but it could have been worse if not for a solid Pedro Zapata to Wilmer Flores, to Francisco Pena relay which cut down Cabrera at home for the third out of the inning.
Bradenton went ahead 2-1 in the 5th when Paulino led off with a single, and moved to second on a ground out. With two outs, SS Benji Gonzalez singled to CF to drive in Paulino. But St. Lucie came back to tie the score again in the 6th when LF Pedro Zapata homered over the LF wall, making it 2-2.
In the top of the 8th Bradenton took the lead again, off reliever Josh Edgin. Edgin gave up a lead-off single to Benji Gonzalez, followed by a walk to RF Robbie Grossman. The next batter hit into a force at second setting up first and third with one out. Cabrera then singled to score Gonzalez with the go-ahead run. After a strikeout Edgin was replaced by Jeff Kaplan, who walked the first batter he faced before retiring the side on a Paulino force-out.
Not to be out-done, the Mets came right back in the bottom half of the inning. Pedro Zapata singled with one out. With Travis Ozga batting for Gilbert Gomez, Zapata stole second, Ozga then grounded out sending Zapata over to third. That set the stage for Wilmer Flores to drive in the run with a single, tying the score once again 3-3.
The score remained tied until the 10th which set the stage for Marte’s heroics. Zachary Foster came on and took the loss giving up the winning run even though he only pitched two-thirds of an inning, and walked one batter. Unfortunately for him, he was followed by Tyler Cox who pitched to one batter and walked him and then, Victor Black was summoned but all he could do was give up the game-winning hit.
The hitting star of the game was Pedro Zapata who went 3 for 5, with 2 runs, 1 RBI, 1 HR, and 1 SB.
The Mets now move on to the best-of-five FSL Championship Series against the Daytona Cubs, with Game One set for Friday in Daytona. The probable starter for the Mets will be Armando Rodriguez, while lefty Casey Harman toes the bump for the Cubbies.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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