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Keoni Cavaco’s Grand Slam Flips Series Upside Down

Friday's Mussels-Tarpons Game Postponed Due to Weather

September 15, 2022 – Florida State League (FSL)Fort Myers Mighty Mussels News Release

FORT MYERS, Fla – Keoni Cavaco’s dramatic eighth inning grand slam flipped the FSL West Division Championship upside down Thursday, turning a two-run deficit into a 7-5 Mighty Mussels victory at Hammond Stadium.

It gave the Mussels their first lead of the series, keeping their season alive and forcing a winner-take-all Game 3 against the Blue Jays in Fort Myers Friday night.

“You know, we kept playing, kept playing, kept playing,” Mussels manager Brian Meyer said. “This has been a resilient group from day one and they got rewarded for it tonight.”

The Mussels entered the bottom of the eighth trailing 5-2. Ben Ross walked to lead off the inning before Noah Miller singled to put two on with no one out. After a flyout advanced Ross to third and a strikeout, Kala’i Rosario rocketed a grounder right at Blue Jays second baseman Estiven Machado. The ball abruptly changed direction, kicking up on Machado and into center field to cut the lead to 5-3.

“Rosie hits the ball hard and that was a screamer right at him,” Meyer said. “I don’t know what it hit – if it was a lip, a rock. Whatever it is, it came up on him late and it kind of swung the momentum a little bit.”

After Dunedin brought in Ian Churchill (1-0), Misael Urbina walked after an eight pitch at-bat to load the bases.

“Once they had a mound visit, I just looked over to the dugout and I smiled,” Cavaco said. “I was just ready to have some fun.”

On the very next pitch, Cavaco obliterated a series-changing grand slam over the left field berm to give the Mussels a 7-5 lead.

“I knew that he didn’t have a feel for his fastball after the walk to Urbina,” said Cavaco. “I was getting changeups all day, so I was going in there hunting that changeup. He threw a changeup middle-middle and I went for it.”

Cavaco, the longest tenured Mighty Mussel, finished the regular season strong – connecting on six extra-base hits over his final eight games. Since the start of 2021, he’s played in a team-high 159 games for Fort Myers.

“Keoni has been here for two years and he has gone through a lot of ups and downs throughout his professional career,” Meyer said. “Over the course of the past two three weeks he has really made a lot of strides in his pitch selection, his contact ability. To see him rewarded for all that, I am really, really happy for him.”

Up until that inning, Blue Jays’ right-hander Geison Urbaez was the story for Dunedin. Urbaez…

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