It was a perfect evening for baseball at Jack Russell Stadium for the series opener of a three-game set against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Dunedin came into the series with sole possession of first place in the FSL North with the Flying Tigers right behind in second place looking to make up ground. Turner Larkins took the hill for the third time this season. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Larkins ran into some trouble in the 2nd. Lakeland had runners on first and second with two outs and Dylan Rosa doubled a line drive off the wall in center field to plate one run. A great relay from rehabbing Jonathan Davis to Riley Adams gunned down Reynaldo Rivera at the plate to keep the game 1-0.
Cullen Large kept his hot streak going to start the year with a ground-rule double in the 2nd innings to put the Blue Jays in the hit column. This is brought his on-base streak to 13 games. He finished the night 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Ryan Noda opened up the scoring for Dunedin with a single through second base to tie the game at 1-1. The next pitch from the Flying Tigers, Jesus Rodriguez, was sent over the scoreboard in left field by Riley Adams to break the tie and bring the score to 3-1.
Turner Larkins went five innings strong for the Blue Jays the third time he has reached that mark this season. In his five innings, Larkins struck out two, walked two, allowed two earned runs, and one home run. He currently holds a 1.69 ERA in 16.0 IP good for 10th in the Florida State League among qualified pitchers with 12 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP. Brad Wilson came in to relieve Larkins in the 6th inning in line for the win. Wilson got into a slight jam to begin the inning after hitting A.J. Simcox and walking Reynaldo Rivera. The righty was able to get a double play ball to Kevin Vicuna to end the inning. It was just the fifth double play turned by Dunedin this season, but it came at the perfect time. Brad Wilson went on to not allow a hit through his season-long three innings of work. He has held opponents to a .154 BA on the season and holds a 0.91 WHIP.
The offense spread out the contributions tonight as three different Blue Jays drove in two runs. Kevin Vicuna drove in Ryan Noda and Demi Orimoloye in the 4th inning with a ringing triple to right field part of the three unanswered runs for Dunedin after Lakeland scored in the top half of the inning. Ryan Noda added his second RBI in the 5th inning with a double in the gap, driving in Cullen Large for the second time in the game to finish the scoring at 6-2. This hit was the third in a 4-4 night for Noda, where he had five total bases and scored two runs of his own.
The second game of the series takes place tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. in Jack Russell Stadium, where Nate Pearson will be taking the hill looking to follow up on his masterful outing he had last Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.