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Mighty Mussels edge Mets, 1-0

Grace Jr., Swain, Pichardo hold St. Lucie scoreless in low-scoring affair

By Staff | Jun 2, 2021

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The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels edged the St. Lucie Mets in a 1-0 decision Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium.

Fort Myers (12-13) pitchers Regi Grace Jr., Matthew Swain and Juan Pichardo combined for a two-hit shutout while striking out 12 Mets (16-9) batters. Tuesday’s performance was the team’s fourth shutout in the last seven games.

Grace Jr. controlled the first 4.1 innings by fanning three and allowing only one hit. The Fort Myers starter worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning with three consecutive ground balls.

Swain (1-1) inherited two baserunners in the fifth inning, but the right-hander delivered back-to-back punch outs to end the St. Lucie scoring threat. Swain dominated with six strikeouts through 2.2 innings of relief.

Fort Myers pitching stranded 11 St. Lucie runners, limiting the Mets to 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

The Mighty Mussels began to apply pressure to Mets reliever Liam McCall in the seventh inning when Kyle Schmidt drew a walk. Yunior Severino singled on a line drive to center field, before Anthony Prato drew another walk. With one out and the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. reached on a fielder’s choice to bring in Schmidt and score the game’s only run. St. Lucie attempted a 4-6-3 double play and recorded the out at second, but Garry Jr. beat the throw to first. Mets first basemen Warren Saunders then fired across the diamond and Severino was tagged out at third base to end the inning.

Pichardo earned his first save of the season, recording two innings of no-hit work while fanning three.

Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-2, 9.64) will take the mound next for the Mighty Mussels today, against Joander Suarez (0-2, 7.65) for the Mets. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hammond Stadium.

Mighty Mussels Pre-Game Live will begin at 6:45 p.m.

— John Vittas

Box Score: https://atmilb.com/2RVs6le