The Home Opener for the Hammerheads had anticipation on and off the field. Star Wars night and the debut of RHP Robert Dugger, who was acquired in the off-season trade with the Seattle Mariners for INF Dee Gordan, were the two main focal points.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Hammerheads bats fired off back-to-back singles. Following was a Joe Dunand ground out that drove in Corey Bird. Jupiter led 1-0.
Palm Beach would tie the game in the 2nd inning. Dugger would hold the Cardinals in check through the first five innings, but would run into some trouble in the 6th. A slider that caught too much of the plate was ripped for a triple. The next batter, Chase Pinder, would then strike a two-run home run to give Palm Beach a 3-2 lead.
Jupiter would get a run back in the bottom half of the 7th, as Rodrigo Ayarza hit a two-bagger into the right-center field gap. Bird would knock him in with a single of his own. Now 3-2 Cardinals lead.
After allowing an 8th inning run, Riley Mahan, who was added to the roster this morning, put a liner into the left-field gap. Scoring on the play was Joe Dunand to edge within one run, again.
However, the Cardinals bats wouldn't go to sleep in the 9th, plating three runners to take a 7-3 commanding lead.
In the Hammerheads last at bat, they showed a legitimate threat with the bases loaded after three consecutive walks and only one out, but were unable to score as the final two batters of the game struck out.
Robert Dugger displayed great accuracy, tossing 55 strikes on 83 pitches in his team debut. The right-handed pitcher threw for six innings, struck out four while surrendering three runs on five hits.
Center Fielder, Corey Bird, went 3-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.
As a team, the Hammerheads tallied eight hits and four walks, but were just 2-12 with RISP and left 10 runners on base.
The Hammerheads (1-2) look to bounce back tomorrow for game 2 against the Palm Beach Cardinals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium before heading on a seven game road trip to Clearwater and Dayton. First pitch is set for 1pm.
W- Mike O'Reilly (1-0)
L- Robert Dugger (0-1)
S- Jason Zgardowski (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.