Threshers Drop Twin Bill with Fire Frogs on Saturday

Pitching staff issues no free passes in doubleheader

Clearwater Threshers in a game against the St.Lucie Mets at Spectrum Field in Clearwater Florida June 10 2019. (Nathan Ray)

By Tyler McConnell / Clearwater Threshers | August 17, 2019 9:18 PM

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers could not overcome strong pitching from the Florida Fire Frogs, dropping both games of the doubleheader on Saturday night at Spectrum Field. The Threshers fell 3-2 in game one before being shut out in game two, 5-0.

In game one, the Threshers (61-64, 25-34) found early momentum against Florida (49-76, 24-35) right-hander Freddy Tarnok. Matt Vierling led off the bottom of the second and reached first on an error. The Notre Dame product stole second and moved to third after Daniel Brito flied out to deep right. Nick Matera drove in the game's first run with a single back up the middle to give Clearwater a 1-0 lead.

Florida answered back in the fifth against Kyle Glogoski. Back-to-back singles from Garrison Schwartz and Rusber Estrada put runners and first and second for the Fire Frogs. Shean Michel placed a bunt down to Glogoski and moved both runners up a base. Brett Langhorne drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to left to even the score at one.

Clearwater's offense again found success against Tarnok in the bottom of the frame. Raul Rivas walked, and Matt Kroon lined a single to right to put runners at the corners with one away. Simon Muzziotti dropped a bunt single down the first base line that Tarnok fielded but threw wide of home and Clearwater took a 2-1 lead. The Threshers threatened for more with Kroon at third and Muzziotti at second, but Dalton Guthrie lined into a double play to end the threat.

Glogoski gave the Threshers another solid performance through five frames while striking out three with one run allowed. The 20-year-old has a 1.77 ERA in nine starts for the Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate in 2019. After the right-hander exited Florida took advantage against Zach Warren (1-3) in the sixth.

Andy Wilkins led off against Warren with a double off the wall in right to put a runner in scoring position. Kevin Josephina pinch ran for the first baseman and later scored on an RBI single from Jefrey Ramos to even the game at two. Ramos was thrown out leaning off first after the hit and Warren worked around further trouble to keep the game tied.

The left-hander stayed in the game to pitch the seventh and again had to work around trouble. After recording the first out, Estrada and Michel singled to put runners at first and second. With pinch runner Jordan Rodgers at second, Langhorne knocked in his second RBI of the game to put the Atlanta Braves affiliate ahead 3-2.

The Threshers were held hitless by Caleb Dirks (SV 1) in the last of the seventh to drop the game one contest by one run. Muzziotti led the way for the offense with a 2-for-2 performance and an RBI. The No. 12 prospect for the Phillies has driven in 27 on the season.

The Threshers dropped game two of the doubleheader 5-0 to the Fire Frogs. The Atlanta Braves' affiliate shut out the Threshers for the fifth time in the second half.

Jack Perkins (0-3) found early trouble in the second against Florida's offense. Drew Lugbauer and Logan Brown singled to put two runners on against the right-hander. Josephina laced a run scoring single to left to put the road team ahead 1-0. A batter later Rodgers belted a three-run shot into the bullpen in left to extend the Florida lead to 4-0.

The road team added another run in the fourth against Perkins to score their final run of the doubleheader. Schwartz and Rodgers collected base hits with one out against Perkins and Langhorne stepped in with an RBI chance. The outfielder picked up his third RBI of the twin bill with a single to right to give the Fire Frogs a 5-0 advantage.

The lead was enough for Matt Hartman (3-6) who went the distance in the seven-inning contest with three hits allowed and five strikeouts. The right-hander earned his second consecutive complete game with the shutout on Saturday night.

Daniel Brito picked up two out of the three hits for the Threshers in game two. The No. 24 prospect for the Phillies finished 2-for-6 in the doubleheader.

Despite the doubleheader loss, the Threshers pitching staff did not surrender a free pass in either of the two games. The arms have allowed a league-high 396 walks in 2019.

Clearwater will try to avoid the sweep to the Fire Frogs in the series finale at Spectrum Field on Sunday afternoon. LHP Ethan Lindow (0-1 1.80) will toe the rubber for the Threshers in game three against Fire Frogs' RHP Brooks Wilson (4-2 2.08). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. with coverage beginning at 12:45 p.m. on Threshers Live! The Pregame Show on Threshersbaseball.com.

Sunday's contest is the Final Brunch at the Ballpark in 2019. A $17 presale ($21 walk-up) brunch ticket includes a club level seat for the game and a buffet of eggs, breakfast meats, carving station, potatoes, pastries, juice, coffee and more. Brunch is available from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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