Ortega’s Clutch Hitting Leads Mussels Past Tarpons 9-8
FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 9, 2023) – The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels snapped their five-game losing streak Tuesday after Jorel Ortega’s clutch hitting sparked an 8-7 victory over the Tampa Tarpons at Hammond Stadium. Trailing 8-7 entering the bottom of the eighth, Alec Sayre walked with one out. Ortega followed
FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 9, 2023) – The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels snapped their five-game losing streak Tuesday after Jorel Ortega’s clutch hitting sparked an 8-7 victory over the Tampa Tarpons at Hammond Stadium.
Trailing 8-7 entering the bottom of the eighth, Alec Sayre walked with one out. Ortega followed with a triple off the base of the wall in right field to tie the game at seven. He would score one batter later on a wild pitch to give the Mussels an 8-7 lead.
The clutch knock gave Ortega his second game-tying triple of the homestand. He finished the night with four hits, reaching in all five plate appearances. He is now batting .310 for the season.
In the top of the ninth, Zac Veen retired the side in order to close out the ballgame for Fort Myers (14-14) and earn his second save of the season.
In a scoreless game in the bottom of the first, Ortega singled and Danny De Andrade doubled to place runners at second and third with no outs. Two hitters and one out later, Carlos Aguiar skied a fly ball to centerfield for a sacrifice fly that gave Fort Myers a 1-0 lead.
The next hitter Ricardo Olivar socked a line drive into the gap in left-center to bring home De Andrade and extend the lead to 2-0. In his first Single-A at bat, Rafael Cruz scalded a line drive at 107.6 miles per hour to left field that scored Olivar and gave Fort Myers a 3-0 advantage.
With the same score in the bottom of the second, Sayre and Ortega both singled to put runners at the corners to start the inning. After a De Andrade flyout advanced Sayre to third, Andrew Cossetti grounded out to second with the infield back to score the run and push the lead to four. Aguiar followed with an RBI single to center to make it 5-0.
With Fort Myers still leading by five in the top of the fourth, Tampa (11-17) outfielder Anthony Hall singled with one out. The next hitter was Jared Serna, who followed with a towering home run deep over the left field wall to make it 5-2.
In the bottom of the same inning, Ortega and De Andrade notched back-to-back singles with one out. After a Tampa pitching change, Cossetti scorched a top-spinning line drive into left to bring home De Andrade and extend the lead to 6-2.
In the top of the sixth, Hall singled and Serna reached on an error to place runners at the corners. Nelson Medina followed with a single to center to cut the Tampa deficit to three runs.
In the top of the seventh, Daury Arias singled with one out to set up a two-run homer from Agustin Ramirez that cut the lead to 6-5. After another error and a single allowed two more runners to reach, Medina lined a single to right to bring home Hall. On the same play, Serna scored, and Medina advanced to third on a throwing error to give Tampa a 7-6 lead.
The late-inning comeback gave the Mussels their third win this season among their six series openers and snapped their five-game losing streak in one-run contests.
The Mussels and Tarpons will meet again at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.