Mighty Mussels split six in Palm Beach, now 28-20 on season
JUPITER – The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels extended their winning streak to seven games Wednesday, but ultimately split a six-game series with the Palm Beach Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium last week.
TUESDAY – Mighty Mussels 7, Cardinals 4 (8 innings)
Yunior Severino reached base four times and the Mussels’ used five-run third inning to take the series opener. Right-handed reliever Carlos Suniaga tossed two scoreless frames, earning the win in his Mighty Mussels debut.
WEDNESDAY – Mighty Mussels 3, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)
After falling behind 2-1 and still trailing by one in the top of the ninth, Severino and Kyle Schmidt both singled to start the inning. After a wild pitch moved Severino to third, Kevin Marnon balked to allow Severino to score and tie the game.
In the top of the 10th, Jeferson Morales lined a double to left to score Edouard Julien and give Fort Myers a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Denny Bentley got back-to-back strikeouts to pin the tying run at third and notch the save. The win was the Mussels’ first of the season in which they trailed after six innings on the road.
THURSDAY – Cardinals 5, Mighty Mussels 4
The Mussels suffered their third walk-off defeat of the season when Jacob Buchberger singled to left to score Tommy Jew in the ninth. Jew went 4-for-5 in the game, as the Cardinals got to a pair of Fort Myers relievers who sported an ERA under 1.50 entering the outing.
Misael Urbina went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple, while Nick Anderson reached base three times.
FRIDAY – Cardinals 5, Mighty Mussels 1
Morales and Willie Joe Garry Jr. both enjoyed multi-hit nights, but the rest of the Mighty Mussels’ lineup could muster only one hit. Bobby Milacki allowed just one run over five innings, but the Fort Myers bullpen surrendered three in the sixth to suffer their second straight loss.
SATURDAY – Mighty Mussels 7, Cardinals 1
The Mighty Mussels’ pitching staff was in control from the get-go, with Sawyer Gipson-Long turning in the Mussels’ fourth quality start of the season (6 IP, 1 R). Brad Hanner, Matt Swain and Osiris German continued the dominance – each going one scoreless inning. The Mussels’ staff did not walk a single batter.
SUNDAY – Cardinals 9, Mighty Mussels 8
Fort Myers blew its second largest lead of the season, letting an 8-4 advantage get away in the ninth. Palm Beach rallied for five runs in the final inning, which were aided by four Mussels walks. Will Holland reached base three times and scored three runs in the loss.
The Mighty Mussels (28-20) start a six-game set with the Bradenton Marauders Tuesday. Wednesday will be Islands Night at Hammond Stadium, and the Mussels will offer three straight fireworks shows July 2-4 to celebrate Independence Day.
— John Vittas