DUNEDIN, FL - The Tampa Yankees (2-1) used a pair of three run home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game and take a three run lead on Thursday night, earning a 9-8 win over the Dunedin Blue Jays (1-2). The win in Game Three of the FSL North Division Championship Series propels Tampa to the FSL Championship series to play Bradenton on Friday night.
Tampa used their two big bats in the middle of the order to strike early and often. SS Gleyber Torres singled three times against RHP Conor Fisk (L, 0-1), each time followed by a CF Rashad Crawford extra-base hit. Crawford doubled in the first inning, tripled in the fourth and homered in the sixth.
Down 1-0 in the second inning, 1B Ryan McBroom tied the game with a solo home run. Crawford's triple with no one out in the fourth aided in giving Tampa a 3-1 lead. Dunedin clawed back with a run in the fifth on a two-out single by SS Jorge Flores, scoring LF David Harris.
In a 3-2 game, the sixth inning provided more than half of the runs in the contest. The Jays ousted starter LHP Nestor Cortes with back-to-back doubles to tie the game by RF Jonathan Davis and 2B John La Prise. Dunedin then went on to plate three more runs with two-out hitting against RHP Eduardo Rivera (W, 1-0). A C Mike Reeves double and another Flores single gave Dunedin a 6-3 lead to the bottom of the inning.
After a long layoff between innings, Fisk failed to retire a batter after coming back out. RF Devyn Bolasky and Torres singled to start the frame when Crawford tied the game with one swing. A walk issued to DH Kevin Cornelius followed by a 1B Connor Spencer single brought LF Trey Amburgey to the plate. A long drive off of Amburgey's bat left the yard, putting the Yanks up 9-6.
Dunedin tried to claw back late, scoring a run in the seventh on a DH Max Pentecost single with two outs. In the ninth, RHP Jordan Foley (S, 1) started shaky but finished strong. A leadoff single by Davis brought the tying run to the plate in McBroom. After a fielder's choice groundout, Pentecost doubled to the gap to bring the Jays within one. Josh Almonte was called upon to pinch run, but Foley struck out 3B Matt Dean and Reeves to clinch the game and the series.