Daytona dashes Tampa's playoff hopes in extra-inning victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After a 2-hour and 40-minute delay at the onset of the game due to rain and lightning trimmed a doubleheader to one nine-inning game, it was yet another marathon to the finish. After 10 innings and three hours and 19 minutes of baseball, RF Blake Dunn's
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After a 2-hour and 40-minute delay at the onset of the game due to rain and lightning trimmed a doubleheader to one nine-inning game, it was yet another marathon to the finish. After 10 innings and three hours and 19 minutes of baseball, RF Blake Dunn's RBI single propelled the Daytona Tortugas to a 9-8 walk-off victory over the Tampa Tarpons, eliminating the visitors from the West Division playoff race, in front of 1,809 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night.
Since game two of Friday's doubleheader was postponed, it will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday, September 10. Gates will open at 3 p.m. and the first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. There will be a roughly 40-minute break between the two seven-inning games.
Tampa (34-27, 61-66) appeared on the verge of forcing the 11th inning after a popped-up bunt and soft fly ball to the shortstop. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Dunn (1-5, RBI, BB, 2 SO) took a pitch outside that the Tarpons' pitcher and catcher mistook for strike three. After returning to the hill, the 23-year-old slapped the next pitch over the second baseman's head and into right field for a hit. 1B Yassel Pino (1-5, R, 2B, RBI, 2 SO), the automatic runner at second to start the inning, raced home to score the winning run. The walk-off win was the Tortugas' (24-38, 53-74) second straight and third of the season.
Daytona started quickly, sending 11 hitters to the plate and posting a crooked number in the bottom of the third. LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, R, RBI, 2 BB) walked to start the inning and moved to third on a 2B Johnny Ascanio (1-2, 2 R, BB, SO) single. A fielding error off the bat of 3B Austin Callahan (2-6, R, 2B, 2 SO) scored O'Guinn, giving the Tortugas a 1-0 lead.
Following a strikeout and a walk, C Cade Hunter (1-5, R, HR, 4 RBI, 3 SO) demolished a 2-1 pitch in the direction of the tennis courts beyond the right-field wall for a grand slam. The 2022 fifth-round pick's second home run with the club stretched the 'Tugas edge to 5-0.
The rally did not stop there, as SS Edwin Arroyo (1-5, R, SO) and CF Justin Boyd (2-5, R, SO) ripped back-to-back base hits. With two out, O'Guinn — at the plate for the second time in the inning — scalded a single back through the middle to score the 19-year-old from second, expanding the initial edge to 6-0.
With one out in the top of the fifth, a pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Tarpons. C Juan Crisp (2-4, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 SO) — in just his second at-bat of the season — smashed a bases-clearing double into the left-center field gap, slicing the deficit in half, 6-3. The Panama-born backstop scored on a wild pitch to yank Tampa within two, 6-4.
After the Tortugas yanked one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on a Pino double, Tampa rallied to take the lead in the sixth. A throwing error and SS Luis Santos' (0-4, R, RBI, BB, SO) ground out helped the Tarpons whittle the lead to a single run, 7-6.
The attack continued when CF Spencer Jones (0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, SO) worked a walk and Crisp singled before a wild pitch advanced both into scoring position. 1B Anthony García (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) hoisted a two-run double at 114 mph over the right fielder's head, giving Tampa their first lead of the day, 8-7.
It did not last long, however. Ascanio collected a walk to begin the bottom of the inning and moved to third when Callahan bounced a two-bagger off the right-field fence. Following a walk to Dunn that loaded the bases, a wild pitch scored Ascanio to tie it at eight.
Neither starter factored into the decision on Friday night. RHP Carson Rudd (4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) struck out a career-high-tying seven for Daytona. Tampa's RHP Yon Castro (2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) was chased in the third inning.
RHP Brett Lockwood (4.1 IP, 3 BB, SO) was magnificent in relief for the Tortugas. The 25-year-old set a new career-high in innings pitched (4.1) and stranded the bases loaded in the top of the 10th by inducing a double play grounder to short.
Tarpons' RHP Danny Watson (0.2 IP, H, R, BB) was saddled with his fifth defeat out of the bullpen.
It will be a doubleheader on Saturday, so make sure you arrive at the ballpark early, as the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive the final Bob Ross Bobblehead Night presented by bowlingball.com. Once more, the Tortugas will have a Pregame Painting Class available for $100. As part of the deal, fans will attend a painting class with a Bob Ross certified instructor, a general admission ticket, a Bob Ross bobblehead, and two drink vouchers. The class has limited spots available and can only be booked in advance by calling the Daytona front office at 386-257-3172. Food and Drink Specials return to the menu including a ‘Bramblebush’ drink available that includes gin and raspberry liquor. There will also be a family meal deal courtesy of Marco’s Pizza. For $20, guests will receive a full-sized Hawaiian Chicken pizza — featuring ham, grilled chicken, bacon, pineapple, original sauce, and three signature kinds of cheese — popcorn, and four mini sodas! We encourage patrons to bring their furry friends to the ballpark for another Bark in the Park Night, too. Fans can purchase a ‘Pooch Pass’ for just $2 at the gate and peanut butter and banana yogurts are available at concession stands. It will also be City of Oak Hill and City of Edgewater Nights featuring discounted tickets for residents through the appropriate FEVO link.
Friday's scheduled starting pitcher for game two — RHP Hunter Parks (3-6, 4.89) – is expected to get the ball for Daytona in game one, while LHP Nicolò Pinazzi (0-0, 9.00) is slated to take the hill for his first Florida State League start in the nightcap. Tampa's scheduled starter for game two — RHP Yorlin Calderon (2-0, 2.84) — is projected to get the ball in the lid-lifter. RHP Zach Messinger (1-8, 4.46) expects to start the finale.
Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.