DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The Clearwater Threshers sent nine to the plate and scored four times in the top of the first off LHP Scott Moss on Wednesday night, but by the time the Tortugas finished their swings in the second, they had taken a 6-4 lead at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The Daytona win ties the series at one game apiece, setting up a winner take all matchup Thursday.
With one-out and runners on the corners, Henri Lartigue drove in the first Thresher run with an RBI single. Lartigue's base hit was the first of three straight RBI singles for Clearwater as Luke Williams and Edgar Cabral each drove in a run. Grenny Cumana made it a 4-0 game with a sacrifice fly.
The Tortugas cut the score in half in the bottom of the first. Taylor Trammell extended the inning with a single, then Tyler Stephenson reached on an error. Both runners moved up 90-feet on a RHP Alejandro Requena wild pitch. Courtney Hawkins followed that up by hitting a two-out, two-run single to make it a 4-2 game.
Then in the second, Daytona sent eight to the plate and took the lead. Brantley Bell led off the inning with a single, then moved first-to-third on a Randy Ventura double. Bell would come into score on an Alfredo Rodriguez RBI single to cut the score to 4-3. Ventura moved to third on the play and scored as Stuart Fairchild reached on a fielder's choice error to tie the game. Then with one-out and both Rodriguez and Fairchild in scoring position, Trammell drove in both runners with a single up the middle to give the Tortugas a 6-4 lead.
Mickey Moniak hit a two-out RBI single in the fourth to round out the scoring at 6-5.
After Moss allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits in four innings, the Tortugas bullpen stepped up with five scoreless frames. RHP Brian Hunter (1-0) earned the win after tossing two hitless innings with a strikeout. The only runner that reached off Hunter was on an error. Joel Kuhnel earned a hold after tossing two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out four. RHP Ryan Hendrix earned the save. He worked around a lead-off walk and worked a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.
Requena (0-1) gets the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits in 1 ⅓ innings with two strikeouts.
The Tortugas will turn to RHP Austin Orewiler for their winner take all matchup Thursday night. RHP Mauricio Llovera will pitch for the Threshers.
First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:50 PM with the Metcare Pregame Show on AM 1230, AM 1490, and FM 106.9 WSBB.
NOTES: The Tortugas have committed` five errors through the first two games of the playoffs… The Tortugas have surrendered 7 first inning runs this series and 5 over the other innings… Taylor Trammell finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI's, a run, and a walk. He now has a 7-game hit streak… Courtney Hawkins finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBI's. He has three straight multi-hit games… Stuart Fairchild extended his hit streak to 7-straight… Alberti Chavez has a base hit in all 6-games he's appeared in since coming off the DL… Randy Ventura doubled for the first time since 8/16… Alfredo Rodriguez drove in a run for the second straight night.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.