Tampa, Fla. - An RBI sacrifice fly by Mason Williams drove in the winning run as the Tampa Yankees (12-16) defeated the Clearwater Threshers (13-15) 9-8 in 11 innings on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The Threshers scored first in the top fifth. Cameron Perkins led off the inning with a double. He tagged up to third after a pop out by Harold Martinez down the right field line. Bob Stumpo gave Clearwater a 1-0 lead with an RBI single to right.
Yankees starter Mikey O'Brien allowed one run on four hits in five innings. He surrendered one walk and tallied seven strikeouts in the no-decision.
Tampa took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. After a leadoff walk by Rob Refsnyder, Gary Sanchez blasted a 2-run home run to left-center field. Threshers' starter Ethan Stewart proceeded to walk Fu-Lin Kuo before allowing an RBI triple by Anderson Feliz. After a walk by Dan Fiorito, Francisco Arcia drove in Feliz with a single to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead.
The teams traded runs in the sixth. Maikel Franco hit his sixth home run of the season in the top of the inning. Refsnyder led off the bottom of the inning with a single. After stealing second, Refsnyder moved to third on a single to left by Sanchez. Perkins bobbled the ball in left to allow Refsnyder to score.
Tampa extended its lead in the seventh. After singles by Fiorito and Arcia, Jose Toussen singled to load the bases. Cody Grice reached on a fielder's choice as Fiorito was out at the plate. After a pitching change, Williams also reached on a fielder's choice resulting in an out at home. With the bases loaded, Refsnyder drew a walk to drive in Toussen. After another Clearwater pitching change, Sanchez drew an RBI walk.
With a 7-2 lead, the Yankees brought in RHP Zach Arneson out of the bullpen to pitch the eighth. Kelly Dugan walked to leadoff the inning. After a double by Franco, Chris Serritella singled to score Dugan. Perkins reached on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout by Martinez, Stumpo reached on an error by Fiorito at shortstop. Pinch-hitter Jose Mojica drove in Perkins with an RBI single. Carlos Alonso then walked to load the bases. Aaron Altheer proceeded to drive in the tying runs with an RBI double down the right field line. After a pitching change, RHP Joel De La Cruz was able to end the inning by getting Dugan to ground out.
The game continued into extra innings with a 7-7 tie.
De La Cruz pitched into the 11th. A leadoff triple by Altherr put the go-ahead run on third. After a groundout by Dugan, Franco delivered an RBI single to give Clearwater an 8-7 lead.
After pitching a scoreless 10th, Threshers' closer Ryan O'Sullivan (2-2) began the 11th. With one out, Fiorito drew a walk. Arcia then singled to move Fiorito to third. Jose Toussen then delivered an RBI single to tie the game, 8-8. Ben Gamel drew a walk to load the bases after pinch-hitting for Grice. That set the stage for Williams.
De La Cruz (1-1) received the win after allowing one run on four hits while striking out two in three and a third innings pitched.
The Yankees travel to Fort Myers on Sunday to begin a four-game series with the Miracle. Tampa will finish off the road trip with three games in Brevard County before returning home on May 13th to begin a four-game series against the Jupiter Hammerheads.