CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers opened a three-game series against the Tampa Tarpons with an authoritative, 10-3 victory at Spectrum Field on Thursday night. The offensive outburst saw the home team collect a season-high, six doubles while tying a season mark with 13 hits.
Clearwater (5-10) fell into an early deficit after Alejandro Requena surrendered solo shots in the second and third innings, but the Threshers responded by putting up two runs in the bottom of the third to even up the scoreboard.
Colby Fitch started the rally with a double down the line in left, and moved up to third on a single by Daniel Brito. Back-to-back RBI singles from Nick Maton and Simon Muzziotti knotted the score at two apiece heading into the middle frames.
Tampa (5-10) utilized a sacrifice fly in the fifth to grab its second lead of the night, but the home club would not wait long to take the jump out in front for good with a three run-sixth.
Matt Vierling doubled with an out in the home half of the sixth and stayed at second after a fly out to center by Madison Stokes, but Jhaily Ortiz sent a double to left to tie the game at three.
Jake Scheiner bounced a single over his third-base counterpart, Oswaldo Cabrera, plating Ortiz for the go-ahead run. The 23-year-old scored on Rodolfo Duran's single to third, and errant throw by Cabrera to extend the lead to two, ending the night for Glenn Otto (1-1).
After the stretch, the offense went to work on Jefry Valdez, pushing across five runs on just four hits in the seventh.
Brito started things out with a smash single through the box into center, and moved up to third two batters later on Muzziotti's first double of the night. An intentional walk to Vierling loaded the bases for Stokes, but a wild pitch plated Brito to give Clearwater a 6-3 lead.
Stokes smacked a double to right to bring across Muzziotti and Vierling to break the game open at 8-3.
Valdez's second wild pitch of the inning moved Stokes up to third during Ortiz's plate appearance, which ended with the right fielder taking a fastball off the shoulder to put two men on for Scheiner. The Threshers' third baseman lifted a sacrifice fly to center for the fourth run of the inning.
Another wild pitch to Duran advanced Ortiz to second, leading to the backstop's run-scoring single to center to cap off the scoring for the night for both sides at 10-3.
The combination of Gustavo Armas (1-0), Ismael Cabrera and Seth McGarry locked down the Tarpons' bats over the final 4.1 innings, giving up just one hit while collecting four strikeouts.
The Threshers take aim at the series victory in the middle match of the three-game set at Spectrum Field on Friday night. It has yet to be determined who will take the mound for Clearwater against Tampa's RHP Miguel Yajure (0-2, 4.00). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:15 p.m. on threshersbaseball.com.
Friday, the home team will turn into the Clearwater Beach Dogs! Every final Friday home game of the month, the Clearwater Threshers will transform into their alternate identities, with 50-cent hot dogs at the ballpark!
Friday is also Tampa bay Times Family Friday, where fans can check out the Thursday Weekend and Friday regional sections of the paper for the Family Pack coupon. For just $16 dollars, fans can receive two box seats, two hot dogs, two chips, and two soft drinks! (redeemable only at the BayCare Box Office at Spectrum Field with coupon.)
Spectrum Field will also have a giveaway on Friday night, with a Threshers-themed Spectrum USB power bank to the first 1,000 fans!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.