KISSIMMEE, FLA.: RHP Matt Hartman navigated around some early Lakeland runs to go the distance for the first time in his career, but the Flying Tigers pitching staff shut down the Florida Fire Frogs bats in a 3-1 series-clinching triumph on Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
With the win, the Flying Tigers took the season series from the Fire Frogs, 7-6, and moved to within a game of the FSL North Division's top spot with 22 games to go.
For the second time in the last eight days, a Fire Frogs pitcher threw the entire game. LHP Hayden Deal tossed a seven-inning complete game shutout last Saturday on August 3 at Jupiter. On Sunday, it was Hartman going the distance for the first time in his career. He surrendered seven hits and three earned runs with five strikeouts mixed in over nine innings. He threw a career-high 106 pitches, 69 for strikes, and retired the last 16 batters he faced to polish off the contest.
Florida's nine complete games is three more than any other team in Minor League Baseball, besting the Double-A Jackson Generals who have six to their name. The Cleveland Indians lead Major League Baseball with five complete games.
The Flying Tigers got on the board against Hartman in the second. Ulrich Bojarski and Jordan Pearce belted back-to-back extra base hits with Pearce doubling in Bojarski who had previously tripled. A two-out base hit from Reece Hampton plated Pearce for a 2-0 edge.
In just his third Advanced-A contest, Bojarski swatted 2-4 with a triple and a single. He came across in the fourth on a single from Christopher Proctor, his first hit and RBI for the Flying Tigers, to move the lead to 3-1.
Kevin Josephina paced a Fire Frogs offense that could only muster five hits against the Lakeland staff on Sunday. He reached base twice, notching a lead-off two-bagger in the third and later scoring on a passed ball during Jordan Rodgers at-bat to cut the deficit to 2-1 at that time.
Garrison Schwartz singled to bump his on-base streak to five consecutive contests.
RHP Tom de Blok (1-11) exercised some demons, beating the Fire Frogs for the first time in four tries and earning his first victory of the season. He allowed three hits and an unearned run over six innings. RHP Angel DeJesus followed with two scoreless innings. RHP Billy Lescher put the game on ice with a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his second save.
NEXT UP: The Fire Frogs welcome the Bradenton Marauders to Osceola County Stadium for a four-day, five-game series starting on Monday. The set begins with a scheduled double header from a July 7 rainout in Bradenton. RHP Brooks Wilson (3-2, 2.29) gets the ball in game one at 4 p.m. and RHP Walter Borkovich (2-4, 4.25) will follow in game two. Two seven inning contests will be played with a 30-minute break in the middle.
Monday is the final Belly Buster Monday of the season! For $19, you can watch both games and gain access to unlimited hamburgers, hot dogs, and popcorn. Fans can partake in the Belly Buster special beginning at 6 p.m. Also, our free beer promotion goes into effect for the second game of the twin bill! From first pitch until the Marauders score their first run, fans can enjoy FREE BEER!
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW: https://www.milb.com/florida/tickets/single-game-tickets
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.