Late Runs Down Florida in Opener

Pike whirls gem with six shutout innings in no-decision

(Tim Holle)

By Thaddeus Krzus / Florida Fire Frogs | April 17, 2017 9:36 PM ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 17, 2017) - On a night where both offenses were looking for answers to the opposing pitching, the Florida Fire Frogs came out on the short end of a 2-1 defeat at Hammond Stadium on Monday night. All three runs in the contest were scored after the sixth inning.

Tyler Pike started for Florida (5-7) and tossed his best performance of the young season. The product of Winter Haven High School set down the first six batters of the night before a leadoff single to Nelson Molina in the third. Daniel Kihle followed with a double down the line in left, but a perfect relay throw to the plate nailed Molina at home to keep Fort Myers (4-8) off the board.

Pike struck out Casey Scoggins and retired Sean Miller on a fly out to escape the early jam.

The southpaw did not allow much after that, scattering two more hits through the next four innings and issuing a walk to go along with four strikeouts on the night. The 23-year-old fired in 66 pitches on the evening, with 41 crossing the plate for strikes. The six innings of work made Pike the second Florida starting pitcher to toss at least six innings in a game in 2017.

Lachlan Wells (1-1) was equally as impressive for the Miracle, as the opposing left-hander struck out the first four Fire Frogs of the night.

Florida picked up its first hit of the game on a bunt single by Jonathan Morales (1x4) in the fifth for his team-leading fifth infield hit of the season.

Wells wound up with seven shutout frames with eight strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

The night came down to the bullpens, and Andres Santiago (0-2) was the man for Florida. The right-hander allowed a two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Trey Vavra in the seventh for the only two runs of the night for the home team.

Ronald Acuna (1x4, R, HR, RBI) launched a leadoff blast off the video board in left to start the ninth against Michael Theofanopoulos (SV, 1), but the left-handed reliever set down Austin Riley (0x4), Alex Jackson (1x4) and Morales to complete the save.

Jackson singled in the seventh to extend his on-base streak to 10 games.

Florida will attempt to even the series a game apiece in game two of the four-game set on Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium. LHP Drew Harrington (1-1, 5.23 will take the mound for the Fire Frogs against the Miracles's RHP Derek Rodriguez (0-1, 4.38). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:20 p.m. on the TuneIn Radio app.

The Fire Frogs return home to Osceola County Stadium for a six-game homestand beginning Tuesday, April 25. The first night is Fire Rum Tuesday at Florida's home stadium. As part of the Most Improved Student Program, the Florida Fire Frogs will reward students for their hard work and achievement with a pre-game, on-field ceremony. Fans can enjoy $3 Fire Rum mixed drinks and $2 tostones. April 25 will also be Service Industry Night, where members of the service industry can purchase tickets 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, Florida. Tickets for the first homestand are available now. 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.

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