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Threshers take second straight 7-2 over Mussels

By Staff | Jun 8, 2023

FORT MYERS – Danny De Andrade delivered an inside-the-park home run for the Mussels Wednesday, but the Clearwater Threshers took care of Fort Myers with a 7-2 win at Hammond Stadium.

Trailing 7-0 in the bottom half of the seventh inning, Jorel Ortega walked with two outs. The next Mussels (28-25) hitter was De Andrade, who scorched a flyball to deep center that just evaded the leaping attempt from Clearwater (38-14) center fielder Justin Crawford. As the ball hopped off the wall, Crawford fell to the ground which allowed De Andrade to circle the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run.

Despite the highlight, Fort Myers finished 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding a season-high 12 runners.

Clearwater’s first run-scoring was sparked by Jordan Dissin and Jordan Viars singles which placed runners at the corners with two outs. In his first at bat of the season, Willliam Bergolla proceeded to ground a soft single to center that brought home Dissin and made it a 1-0 game.

With the Threshers still leading 1-0 in the top of the third, Bryan Rincon singled with one out, then advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Mussels’ starter C.J. Culpepper (2-3). After a groundout to first advanced Rincon to third, he scored on a wild pitch by Culpepper later in the inning to make it 2-0 Threshers.

After Clearwater added on two more in the top of the fifth, they threatened for more in the sixth. Dissin led off the frame with a single to right and then advanced to second with two outs following a groundout.

The next hitter was Crawford, who rolled a grounder to short. As Mussels shortstop Rafael Cruz ranged towards his backhanded side, the ball rolled under his glove, glanced off his heel and skipped behind him towards the second-base bag. On the play, Crawford advanced to second and Dissin scored to make it 5-0.

The next hitter was Emaarion Boyd, who smacked a liner that clanked off Cespedes’ outstretched glove at first and hopped into right field. Crawford scored on the single to give the Threshers a 6-0 advantage.

In the top of the seventh, Mussels reliver Jaun Mendez loaded the bases after walking two and hitting a batter. Later in the inning, the Threshers extended their lead on a wild pitch that pushed their lead to seven runs.

With the win, the Threshers’ magic number drops to three, moving them two wins away from clinching the FSL West first-half division championship and a berth to the postseason.

The Mussels will start Miguelangel Boadastoday, who will make his Single-A debut while the Threshers give Jean Cabrera (2-2, 4.60) the nod. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. at Hammond Stadium, with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.