CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Clearwater Beach Dogs could not overcome an early 3-0 deficit and fell to the Tampa Tarpons 8-4 at Spectrum Field on Friday night to even the three-game series at one apiece.
Beach Dogs' left-hander Kyle Young (0-3) battled through trouble in the first inning and allowed three runs to score on two hits. Dermis Garcia capped off the frame with a two-run shot to put Clearwater (5-11) in an early 3-0 hole.
Tampa (6-10) would add two more off Young on three hits in the third to make it a 5-0 game.
Young fought through five frames, but allowed six earned runs on nine hits for his third loss of the season.
The Beach Dogs found an answer in the fourth, thanks to a solo home-run from Jhaylin Ortiz, his first in a Clearwater uniform. The Tarpons quickly answered in the fifth, scoring two to push the lead to 7-1.
Clearwater made it 7-4 in the sixth when Madison Stokes drove in a run on a single, and Jake Scheiner pushed home two with a triple.
The combination of Grant Dyer and Austin Ross was effective in the loss as they allowed just one run and two walks in four combined frames out of the bullpen for Marty Malloy.
The Beach Dogs had chance in the ninth when the first two men reached, but a strikeout and a double-play ended the threat.
Matt Vierling put in another strong performance at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with a run scored. He pushed his hitting streak to seven games and leads the team with a .322 average.
Clearwater looks to take the series against Tampa in the rubber match on Saturday evening at Spectrum Field. RHP Andrew Brown (0-2, 12.86) will take the hill for the Threshers against Tarpons RHP Rony Garcia (0-0, 2.03). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:15 p.m. on threshersbaseball.com. There will be a firework show after the conclusion of the game, presented by Wawa.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.