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Mussels take five of six from Cards with 7-6 Sunday win

By Staff | Sep 13, 2021

FORT MYERS – All nine Mighty Mussels recorded hits Sunday, as Fort Myers defeated Palm Beach 7-6 to win the series five games to one at Hammond Stadium.

The Mighty Mussels (57-53) scored all seven runs in the first two innings, getting just enough pitching to hold on to the win.

With Fort Myers trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the second, Kyler Fedko and Kole McKinnon both singled to start the inning. The next batter was Alerick Soularie, who ripped a double into the left field corner to tie the game 2-2. Misael Urbina then grounded a ball past Cardinals’ (34-77) shortstop Darlyn Del Villar, scoring two runs to give the Mussels a 4-2 lead. After Urbina stole second, Will Holland dropped a single into right center to move Urbina to third.

Jake Rucker then drove a sacrifice fly to right to extend the lead to 5-2. After a pitching change, Patrick Winkel pulled a double down the right field line to score Holland and make it 6-2. The next batter was Mikey Perez, who singled to right to cap the inning at 7-2 Fort Myers.

The Mighty Mussels’ bullpen did the rest, allowing just two earned runs over the final seven innings. Juan Pichardo allowed one hit over two scoreless innings. A.J. Labas retired all six batters he faced, fanning two.

Matthew Swain allowed a solo home run to LJ Jones in the ninth, but notched his third save of the season.

This week’s 5-1 series win matches the best week of the season for Fort Myers. The Mussels took five of six against St. Lucie June 1-6 at Hammond Stadium.

The Mussels welcome the Tampa Tarpons to town beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.

Box Score: https://atmilb.com/3lgySfY

Mussels complete comeback to stun Palm Beach 6-5

FORT MYERS – The Mighty Mussels scored in their final three offensive innings Saturday, erasing a four-run deficit to beat Palm Beach 6-5 at Hammond Stadium.

Fort Myers (56-53) trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the sixth before Alerick Soularie walked and stole second. After an infield single moved him to third, Soularie raced home on a groundout to make it 4-1.

However, Cardinals (34-76) outfielder Mike Antico parked a solo home run in the top of the seventh to stretch the lead to 5-1.

Trailing by four in the bottom of the seventh, Will Holland was hit by a pitch before Jake Rucker lined a single to right. The next batter was Mikey Perez, who pulled a base hit into left to score Holland and make it 5-2. After a fielder’s choice put men at the corners, a walk loaded the bases. Cardinals reliever Roy Garcia then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Rucker to score and make it 5-3.

With two on and two out, Christian Encarnacion-Strand grounded a ball between second and third. The Cardinals’ infielders miscommunicated and hesitated to field the ball. Shortstop Mack Chambers then quickly barehanded the ball and fired a wild throw to the fence behind first. Both runners scored to tie the game at 5-5.

With the margin the same in the bottom of the eighth, Holland dumped a single into left before advancing to second on a balk. The next pitch ended up in the dirt, and Holland bolted for third – reaching the bag safely with only one out. Rucker promptly lifted a sacrifice fly to deep right to give Fort Myers the lead.

Right-hander Ramon Pineda (1-1) went two strong innings to get the win, while Matt Mullenbach worked a scoreless ninth to notch his first save as a member of the Twins organization.

Box Score: https://atmilb.com/3npGiQD

Povich deals in 2-0 loss to Palm Beach

FORT MYERS – Cade Povich struck out five over three outstanding innings in his Hammond Stadium debut Friday, but the Mighty Mussels left 12 men on base in a 2-0 loss to the Palm Beach Cardinals.

Povich allowed just one hit over his three frames. The Twins’ third round pick has allowed just one run over his first eight pro innings, fanning 14.

Mikey Perez and Alerick Soularie each notched multiple hits in the defeat. Perez is now 6-for-10 to begin his Mussels (55-53) tenure.

In a scoreless game in the top of the fourth, Ryan Holgate cranked a solo home run out to deep right to give Palm Beach a 1-0 lead.

Still leading by that margin in the top of the eighth, Mike Antico singled before Patrick Romeri reached on a fielding error. With two men on, Holgate lined a single to center to stretch the lead to 2-0.

With Kyler Fedko at first and two outs in the eighth, Perez ripped a double into the left field corner. Fedko appeared to beat the Cardinals’ (34-75) relay to the plate, but Fedko was called out. The Mussels got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but were unable to deliver.

Box Score: https://atmilb.com/3lg9wyM

— Recaps provided by JOHN VITTAS