First of all, they're calling it The Miracle On Grass; that's how big Manatee Junior College's 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates has become around Florida's Tampa-St. Pete area.
Another thing that may have gotten lost in the shouting over the Pirates' admittedly embarrassing defeat to the Lancers; the Pirates big leaguers were playing the Reds in Sarasota at the time. Manatee was opposed by Triple-A players for the first four innings, and then a Double-A squad thereafter. Still ...
"We're a junior college, they're professionals," MCC coach Tim Hill said. "I think it's a very big accomplishment. Not to take anything away from their guys, but they do that for a living ... and we're not used to seeing the type of pitchers we saw, and this was the first time our guys used wooden bats. I thought the kids did a great job against some great personnel out there."
Other Miracle On Grass facts:
• The Pirates' squad featured Jose Tabata, whose wife was accused of kidnapping a baby at a health clinic last month.
• Other top Pirates prospects in the game were Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Virgil Vasquez, the latter who gave up three earned runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. Vasquez nearly made the Pirates' major league rotation this year.
• Manatee used nine pitchers, one each inning.
• The second-to-last of those pitchers is the wonderfully-named Johnny Lingo.
• Manatee CC has a total enrollment of 7,502.
• Lancers second baseman Derek Luciano had a triple, double, single and four RBI.
• Manatee graduate: Joe Mays.
• Pirates '11-0' T-shirts being shipped to Nicaragua as I type this.
Photo: Bradenton Herald
Miracle On Grass: Lancers Beat Pirates [Bradenton Herald]
Junior College Lancers Defeat Pirates 6-4 [Sarasota Herald Tribune]