KISSIMMEE, Fla. (May 5, 2017) - The Florida Fire Frogs opened up their weekend set against the first-place Clearwater Threshers with a 17-11 victory on Friday night at Osceola County Stadium. The victory stretches Florida's season-long winning streak to four games, and the Fire Frogs improved to 3-1 over the Threshers in 2017.
Florida (14-15) used three home runs in the first inning to help plate nine runs for the early cushion. With the lead already at 1-0 after an RBI single from Alex Jackson (2x4, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, BB), Austin Riley (2x4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) drilled the first delivery from Alberto Tirado (1-2) over the wall in left to stretch the lead to four. Braxton Davidson (2x5, 2 R, HR, RBI) followed with a solo homer to left for the fifth run of the inning. Friday's opening frame was the second time Riley and Davidson have gone back-to-back this season.
After Carlos Castro (1x5, 2 R) singled to keep the line moving, leading to Wigberto Nevarez's (2x5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI) two-run blast to left to make it a 7-0 game.
Ray-Patrick Didder (1x4, 2 R, 3B, BB) tripled to the wall in right in his second at-bat, and Tyler Neslony (2x4, 4 R, 2B, RBI, 2 BB) drew his second free pass in the first. Both runners came around to score on Ronald Acuna's (4x6, R, 2B, 3 RBI) two-run double to center for the eighth and ninth runs in the first.
Clearwater (18-11) put solo homers on the board in the third and fourth innings from Damek Tomscha and Jose Pujols, but Florida responded with three runs in the third on Jackson's eighth home run of the season, and four more in the fourth to create a 14-run separation.
The four long balls on Friday night set a new team record for the young club.
Ricardo Sanchez (2-3) allowed just two runs on Friday night, as the left-hander picked up his second win of 2017. The native of Venezuela gave up six hits and did not walk a batter for the first time this season, while tying a season-high with six strikeouts.
The Threshers scored three unearned runs against the combination of Carlos Salazar and Jacob Webb in the sixth to cut the lead town to 11, but the Fire Frogs tallied on their 16th run of the game on when Castro reached on an error to third, scoring Jackson from third on the play.
Taylor Lewis was asked to record the final three outs in the ninth, but the sidewinder surrendered six runs on eight hits before being pulled with runners on the corners with two outs. Corbin Clouse retired Cornelius Randolph on a flyout to left for the final out of the contest.
Florida looks for the series victor over Clearwater in game two of the three-game series on Saturday night at Osceola County Stadium. The Fire Frogs will send out RHP Touki Toussaint (1-2, 8.14), while the Threshers will counter with RHP Blake Quinn (0-1, 2.79). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:50 p.m. on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.
Saturday is Bark in the Park at Osceola County Stadium, where fans can bring their four-legged friends to the ballpark for just $2.
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.