FORT MYERS – The Fort Myers Miracle advanced to the Florida State League Championship Series with a 6-2 win over the Bradenton Marauders on Wednesday night at JetBlue Park. The Miracle erased a 1-0 deficit by plating six runs in the bottom of the third inning. Fort Myers swept the best two-of-three series and advances to play in the final round for the first time since 2008.
The Marauders took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third against Miracle starter D.J. Baxendale. Jin-De Jhang hit an infield single with one out and moved to second on a throwing error. Adam Frazier singled to plate Jhang. Baxendale faced the minimum over the next four innings to earn the win.
Shane Carle cruised through the first two innings scoreless, getting help for Justin Maffei, who threw out Aderling Mejia at the plate in the first. Adam Brett Walker singled to start the third inning. Tyler Grimes was hit by a 2-2 pitch to put two on. Carle threw wildly on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Kanzler, bringing in Walker and putting men at the corners. Aderling Mejia singled to plate Grimes and give the Miracle the lead. One out later, Travis Harrison doubled off the 43-foot-high left field wall to bring in two more runs. Dalton Hicks capped the scoring and chased Carle with a two run home run.
The Marauders plated the final run of the game on a sacrifice fly from Max Moroff in the ninth inning. Zack Jones struck out Maffei to end the game with two on.
Bradenton won a franchise-best 78 games in the regular season and swept the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year awards. The team’s Second Half South Division Championship was the third Division crown in five years for the team.
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