LAKELAND, Fla. (July 13, 2017) - The Florida Fire Frogs split a doubleheader with the first-place Lakeland Flying Tigers on Thursday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, dropping game on in nine innings, 2-1, and rebounding to take the night cap, 2-0.
Touki Toussaint tossed his second consecutive quality start in a no-decision, setting a season high with 10 strikeouts through seven innings of one-run ball. The lone blemish against the 21-year-old came in the fourth inning when a wild pitch allowed Blaise Salter to score, giving Lakeland (14-6, 44-42) a 1-0 lead.
Florida (8-11, 33-52) responded with a run of its own in the top half of the fifth, as Alejandro Salazar (1x2, RBI, BB) singled home Carlos Castro (1x4, R) from second with two outs to knot the game at one apiece.
The score remained tied at one until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Jose Azocar pushed across the winning run with a squeeze bunt down the first base line. Castro's flip to home was not in time to retire Ariel Serrano at the plate, handing the Fire Frogs their third walk-off loss of the season.
Josh Graham (1-2) suffered the loss for the visitors in the opener, allowing one run on two hits and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of relief.
Jeff Thompson (2-2) picked up his second win of the season with 2.1 scoreless relief frames for the Flying Tigers.
Florida struck quickly against Sandy Baez (3-7) in game two, turning a lead-off double off the bat of Ray-Patrick Didder (1x4, R, 2B) into the first run of the game, as Alay Lago (1x3, R) smashed a grounder to short that was misplayed by Luis Valdes, allowing Didder to score.
Baez suffered the loss for Lakeland in game two, as the hard-throwing right-hander yielded two unearned runs on four hits and three strikeouts across five innings.
The Fire Frogs added an insurance run in the fourth by taking advantage of another defensive miscue by the home team.
With Lago (1x3, R, SB) at third, Castro (1x3) hit a rocket to the hot corner that was misplayed by Josh Lester, scoring Lago to make the score 2-0.
Corbin Clouse (2-0) continued to stay red hot out of the Fire Frogs' bullpen, as the left-hander kept the Flying Tigers off the scoreboard through the final two frames to help Florida earn the split. The 22-year-old has not allowed an earned run since April 19, and is in the midst of an 18.1 scoreless-inning streak.
Andrew Daniel (0x2) and Justin Ellison (1x3, SB) made their team debuts in the finale after being added to the Fire Frogs' roster earlier in the day.
Florida goes for the series victory in the rubber match on Friday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. LHP Ricardo Sanchez (3-9, 5.37) takes the bump for the Fire Frogs against RHP Kyle Dowdy (7-5, 2.17). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Florida returns to Osceola County Stadium for a seven-game homestand starting Tuesday, July 18, with game one featuring another matchup against Lakeland. Game one of the three-game series will be "Fire Rum Tuesday" at the ballpark, where fans can enjoy $3 Fire Rum mixed drinks and $2 tostones. Every Monday through Wednesday game at Osceola County Stadium is "Service Industry Night," where members of the service industry can access the home stadium of the Florida Fire Frogs at a discounted rate.
About the Florida Fire Frogs
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.