Threshers take 1-0 Lead In FSL Finals

Nate Johnson got the call in Game One of the Florida State League Finals and gave the Threshers six strong innings in their 8-1 win over Brevard County.

Nate Johnson didn't spend much time in Clearwater's starting rotation during the regular season, but he's there now and gave his team six innings Saturday night in Clearwater's 8-1 win over Brevard County in the opener of the best-of-five series.

Johnson, who made just five regular season starts, allowed just one run while striking out four. Cory Willey and Bret Harker finished out the game in impressive style, combining for three shutout innings and six strikeouts.

Clearwater is 3-0 in the post-season after sweeping Sarasota and winning the FSL Finals opener. They now stand just two wins from the Florida State League title, which they haven't won since 1993. Many of the players on the Clearwater roster were part of Lakewood's South Atlantic League title last season.

Jake Blalock launched a three-run homer and finished the night 3-for-5 to lead the offense. Clearwater took a 5-0 lead in the fifth on Blalock's home run and a pair of RBI singles from P.J. Antoniato and Brad Harman. Later in the game, Harman would also chip in with a two-run home run to help pad Clearwater's lead. Brian Burgamy also contributed three hits and an RBI.

The only real blemish for Johnson was a solo home run that he gave up to Mat Gamel in the fifth.

The series continues Sunday night in Brevard County before coming to Clearwater for all remaining games. Andrew Carpenter, who won 17 games in the regular season, is slated to start Game Two for Clearwater.

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