CLEARWATER, Fla. - Matt Imhof and the Clearwater Threshers gave an electric crowd something to cheer about on Friday night, as the Threshers shut out the Tampa Yankees 3-0 before an all-time best 9,966 fans at Bright House Field.
Friday's Independence Day celebration attendance total topped the previous all-time Threshers high of 9,844 fans set back on July 3, 2009.
Imhof set a personal record of his own, pitching a career-high six innings of shutout ball in the win.
The Threshers lefty walked four, but permitted only one hit - a single to Dante Bichette Jr. in the second inning. Imhof (3-3) earned the win after making 96 pitches - 57 strikes - in six frames. He previously had not surpassed five innings in any of his pro outings.
After Imhof and Vicente Campos traded zeroes through the front three frames, it was the Threshers who broke the deadlock in the fourth.
Campos had set down ten straight before Andrew Pullin lined a hot shot off the glove of second baseman Angelo Gumbs for a single.
Rhys Hoskins stepped in and yanked a grounder down the thirdbase line for a double, allowing Pullin to race around all the way from first with the Threshers first run. After Carlos Tocci singled, Willians Astudillo lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 2-0.
Campos (0-1) took the loss in his Florida State League debut, as he was charged with two runs on four hits in his five innings.
Clearwater (7-2) added on a final tally in the seventh inning against reliever Giovanny Gallegos. Tocci and Astudillo opened the frame with back-to-back singles to set up men at the corners, and the Yankees conceded the run to turn a double play on an Angelo Mora grounder, allowing Tocci to cross to make it 3-0.
Ethan Stewart hurled a scoreless seventh inning in his first appearance after being activated from the Reading Fighting Phils disabled list. Edubray Ramos took it the rest of the way, allowing a walk and a single in two shutout innings to earn his eighth save.
The Threshers hit the road for three games at Brevard County beginning Friday, with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. Yacksel Rios (3-2) will get the ball in the opener against Cy Sneed (0-0).
Clearwater will return home to open a three-game set against Lakeland on Dollar Tuesday, presented by Regions Bank, with first pitch at 7 p.m.