DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Staring defeat in the face, the Daytona Tortugas rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to complete their third-consecutive comeback against the St. Lucie Mets with a 3-2 triumph in front of 2,377 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night.
With the win - coupled with Clearwater's victory over Lakeland - Daytona (31-37, 66-67) remains in a virtual tie with the Threshers for the wild card spot in the Florida State League North Division playoff race. A victory tomorrow - along with a Lakeland win against Clearwater - would put the Tortugas alone in the final playoff position entering Friday.
Trailing 2-1 headed to the bottom of the 10th, SS José García (1-4, 2 R, SO) began the frame at second as the tiebreaking runner. Following a strikeout, DH Hendrik Clementina (1-4, RBI, BB, SO) walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Brian Rey . With 3B Bryant Flete (0-1, 3 BB, SO) at the dish, García and Rey completed a perfectly executed double steal to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
After St. Lucie (35-32, 67-66) decided to intentionally walk Flete to load the bases, CF Lorenzo Cedrola (0-5, RBI) hit a ground ball to first. The throw home was wide and rolled to the backstop. Both García and Rey crossed the plate, giving Daytona the walk-off victory.
Prior to extras, neither team had scored since the opening frame. 2B Carlos Cortés (1-3, RBI, BB) put the Mets on the board in the top of the first with a run-scoring single, while the 'Tugas answered in the bottom half with an RBI knock from Clementina.
St. Lucie was able to regain the lead briefly in the top of the 10th. SS Manny Rodríguez (1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) smashed a ground-rule double over the center-field fence to put the Mets ahead, 2-1.
Despite giving up an unearned run in the top of the final stanza, RHP Michael Byrne (1.0 IP, H, R) earned his seventh triumph for Daytona. RHP Thomas McIlraith (3.0 IP, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 SO) never surrendered a hit but was taxed with a pair of unearned tallies in his fifth defeat with St. Lucie.
Both RHP Mac Sceroler (7.0 IP, 3 H, R, 8 SO) - who matched a career-high with 7.0 innings pitched - and RHP Joe Cavallaro (6.1 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) received no-decisions for the Tortugas and Mets, respectively.
The series wraps up with a Thirsty Thursday presented by Bud Light. Fans are encouraged to come out and be a part of the biggest party in Central Florida, as draft beers and fountain sodas can be purchased for just $1 all evening long.
The Tortugas Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:50 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:05 p.m. ET start at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Thursday evening's affair can be heard on www.daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Daytona will try and complete the four-game sweep with RHP Austin Orewiler (8-10, 4.52 ERA) on the hill. St. Lucie has not yet named a starter for the finale.
Tickets are still currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com, or by calling the Tortugas' Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the High-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Beijing Shougang Eagles of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) and many large community events and initiatives throughout the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.