Lopez leads Daytona to walk-off win, 4-3

FSL All-Star picks up game-winning single in 11th

2B Alejo Lopez came through with the game-winning, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th, as the Daytona Tortugas defeated the Fort Myers Miracle, 4-3, in front of 2,064 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night. (Aldrin Capulong)

By Justin Rocke / Daytona Tortugas | May 24, 2019 11:01 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - On the same day he was named to the Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star team, 2B Alejo Lopez came through with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th, as the Daytona Tortugas topped the Fort Myers Miracle, 4-3, in front of 2,064 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Tied at three, SS José Garcia (2-5, R, RBI) began the bottom of the 11th as the tiebreaking runner at second base. After a strikeout, 3B Jonathan India (1-4, R, 2B, BB) was intentionally walked to set up a potential double play.

That opportunity never came for Fort Myers (27-20). Lopez (1-4, 2 RBI) slapped a 1-1 pitch just over the outstretched glove of SS Royce Lewis . Garcia raced home from second on the single to left-center, giving Daytona (26-22) their second walk-off win of the week, 4-3.

The Tortugas initially jumped out to a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, India reached on a two-base throwing error and advanced to third on a balk. Lopez then put Daytona ahead, 1-0, with a sacrifice fly to center.

An inning later, 1B Bruce Yari (1-4, R, HR, RBI) whacked a deep drive to right field. The shot sailed over the right-field fence for a solo home run - his third of the year - to extend the advantage to 2-0. Later in the fifth, C Mark Kolozsvary (1-4, R, 3 SO) restarted the rally with an infield single to third. Following a ground out that moved him to second, Garcia stroked a base-hit into left. Kolozsvary scored on the single to make it a 3-0 affair.

Fort Myers ended up forcing extra innings after tying it in the seventh. 1B Lewin Díaz (1-5, R, 3B) began the frame with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. With a runner at first and two outs, C Ryan Jeffers (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SO) smacked a 1-2 delivery down the left-field line. The shot hooked around the foul pole for a two-run blast - his fourth - to even the game up at three apiece.

RHP Ryan Nutof (3.0 IP, BB, 3 SO) - who was named to the FSL Mid-Season All-Star team earlier in the day, as well - hurled three scoreless innings of relief to earn his third victory of the season. RHP Hector Lujan (1.1 IP, H, R, BB, 3 SO) yielded just one unearned run, but still suffered his third defeat of 2019.

Neither starter received a decision on Friday. Daytona's RHP Ryan Lillie (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 SO) hurled five scoreless innings. LHP Tyler Watson (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 SO) twirled a quality start for Fort Myers, issuing three runs (two earned) in six frames.

Daytona will attempt to remain in the win column on Saturday. The Tortugas have not yet announced their starting pitcher for the contest. Fort Myers is expected to send RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-0, 3.18 ERA) - Minnesota's No. 20 prospect according to Baseball America - to the bump.

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. Saturday evening's contest can be heard on daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.

It will be a Shell-tastic Saturday tomorrow. Ticket-holders are advised to get to the stadium early, as the Jackie Robinson Ballpark concourse turns into a Jersey Shore boardwalk with a Pre-Game Carnival. Additionally, the first 1,000 fans through the gates that night will receive a Shelldon "Bobble-fist" Giveaway courtesy of bowlingball.com. Fans are encouraged to stick around until the game's conclusion, as a Postgame Firework show will light up the Daytona Beach sky.

Multi-game plans and single-game 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.

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