Lightning doesn’t strike twice, Tarpons split doubleheader
TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Tarpons (12-6) split their doubleheader Friday afternoon against the Daytona Tortugas (7-12) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa used a combination of light’s out pitching and hard contact hitting to take the opener, 8-1. Unfortunately, it did not translate into game two. Daytona found their
TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Tarpons (12-6) split their doubleheader Friday afternoon against the Daytona Tortugas (7-12) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa used a combination of light’s out pitching and hard contact hitting to take the opener, 8-1. Unfortunately, it did not translate into game two. Daytona found their footing in the weather-shortened nightcap and came out victorious, 6-2.
Tampa manhandled Daytona in game one, using a barrage of offense to win handedly. RHP Yon Castro started the game on Thursday and pitched three strong innings before rain pushed the remainder of the game into Friday. Castro did not allow a single hit and struck out five Tortugas.
2B Ben Cowles got the action started in the bottom of the second, doubling on a ground ball down the third base line. CF Madison Santos followed up with a double of his own to score Cowles for Tampa’s first run of the game. Next, C Ben Rice walked to load the bases. From there, the Tarpons would score one more run on a passed ball that went right through the legs of Hayden Jones behind the plate.
The bottom of the third was equally fruitful for Tampa. SS Alexander Vargas drew a walk to lead off the inning and 1B Anthony Garcia also drew a full-count free pass. With two on and one out, 3B Marcos Cabrera laced a grounder through a hole on the left side to drive in Vargas. Cabrera would later come around to score on a single by Madison Santos to put the Tarpons ahead, 4-0.
Both sides would have to wait until the next day to finish the game as the skies opened up and washed out the field.
RHP Juan Carela (6-2) picked up where Tampa left off on Thursday and started dealing in the top of the fourth. He cruised through the continuation, surrendering only one run over the remaining six innings.
The Tarpons got the bats moving in the fifth, starting with Garcia who pulled a ground ball single through the right side. Cabrera and Madison Santos both reached via the walk to load the bases. Up next, Rice delivered an RBI single to Fidel Castro in right field. Garcia came around to score but Cabrera was thrown out at home trying to take the extra base. RF Raimfer Salinas was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, but 2B Luis Santos grounded out to end the threat.
Daytona’s sole run came in the top of the sixth when Steven Leyton smoked a line-drive RBI double to plate Austin Callahan.
Rice added a couple more insurance runs for Tampa in the seventh. With a hitter’s count, Rice blasted an absolute laser beam to right center for a two-run homer. Rice’s fourth homer of the season plated Madison Santos and increased the Tarpons’ lead to 7-1.
Santos was responsible for adding one last run in the bottom of the eighth, plating Garcia on an RBI groundout to shortstop.
Game two did not go as swimmingly for the Tampa Tarpons. The Daytona Tortugas rode a couple of longballs to capture the shortened nightcap, 6-2.
Daytona immediately jumped on RHP Trevor Holloway (3-2) in the top of the first. Austin Callahan set the tone for the visitors with a lead-off double to left. Callahan advanced to third on a ground out by Rafael Franco and later scored on a SAC Fly by Michel Triana. Jack Rogers and Braylin Minier ripped back-to-back singles to right field which set Daytona up with runners on the corners and two out. Michael Trautwein slapped an RBI single to SS Ben Cowles which scored Rogers and put the Tortugas up 2-0.
CF Madison Santos crossed the plate for Tampa’s first run in the bottom of the second inning, scoring on a passed ball by Trautwein behind the dish.
Speaking of Trautwein, he crushed his first homer of the season in a bizarre sequence. RHP Bailey Dees appeared to have set Daytona’s backstop down on strikes, but the Tortugas challenged the strike three ruling and it was overturned. Trautwein then sent the next pitch into orbit to increase their margin to 3-1.
Tampa responded immediately the following frame as LF Christopher Familia collected an RBI-single in his Tarpons debut. Familia’s liner found some open grass in left field to plate 1B Anthony Garcia.
Michel Triana added some crucial insurance for the Tortugas in the fourth by launching RHP Kevin Milam’s 1-0 offering well beyond the right field fence for a two-run jack. The Tortugas tagged Milam again in the fifth with an RBI double courtesy of Callahan to inflate Daytona’s lead to 6-2.
Lightning strikes were detected around the area before the start of the sixth which prompted both umpires to call the game official.
The Tarpons and Tortugas return to action tomorrow night for game five of their six game set. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM EST, with RHP Chandler Champlain (2-5, 4.34 ERA) slated to make the start for Tampa.