JUPITER, Fla. - The Jupiter Hammerheads dropped a tough 3-2 decision to the Clearwater Threshers in 11 innings on Thursday night at Roger Dean Stadium. The loss was the third straight for Jupiter as they also lost their first series of 2015.
Clearwater (5-3) once again wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard as they jumped to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. Brodie Greene led off the game with a single then stole second base to move into scoring position, as Domonic Brown was able to drive in the first run with a RBI-double to center field.
Jupiter (3-5) waited until the fourth to make noise, but was able to take the lead by putting up a two spot to take a one run advantage. Austin Dean and Cameron Flynn led the inning off with back-to-back singles to get the offense moving for the Hammerheads. Flynn was picked off at first, though, just before Avery Romero was able to draw a walk to put runners at first and second. Felix Munoz struck out for the second out of the inning, then Harold Riggins came through with a two-RBI double down the right field line to give the Sharks the 2-1 lead.
Solid pitching dominated the middle innings for both teams, before the Threshers were able to tie the game in the eighth inning. Greene picked up his second single of the night then Andrew Pullin got one of his own to put two runners on the base path. A wild pitch then moved both runners into scoring position. Andrew Knapp was able get the tying run across the plate with a sacrifice fly to score Greene and knot the game at two.
The two teams could not determine a winner in the standard nine innings. It took until the 11th inning for either team to get a hit in the extra innings, as well as the winning run. Knapp did the damage for Clearwater by putting a pitch into deep right-center field and turning it into a one-out triple. Dylan Cozens was able to earn the winning RBI with a single up the middle that allowed Knapp to score the winning run in the 3-2 contest.
In the extra innings, the Hammerheads were held hitless with their final hit coming in the seventh inning by Blake Barber. Barber was also the only Hammerhead to have a multiple hit game, while Riggins had both RBIs for Jupiter.
Sean Townsley, Jupiter's starting pitcher, did not receive a decision, but tossed five innings while only allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Jauncito Martinez was also dominate on the bump for Jupiter as he hurled two scoreless innings in relief with six strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Martinez was credited with a hold, his first of the year, while Casey McCarthy took the blown save and Tyler Bremer (0-1) took the loss.
Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0) was the winning pitcher for Clearwater. Leiter pitched four innings of scoreless relief work with just one hit and two walks allowed. Leiter also fanned four Jupiter batters. Ulises Joaquin pitched a perfect 11th inning to earn the save, his third on the year and second in as many days.
Jupiter will look to get back on the winning track as they travel to Bradenton for a three-game series starting on Friday at McKechnie Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. The Hammerheads will return to Roger Dean Stadium after a six-game road trip on Thursday, April 23. That contest will begin at 6:35 p.m. as Bradenton will make their first trip to Jupiter.