The Empire Strikes Again: Lakeland Drops Series to Palm Beach

Gregory Soto. Lakeland Flying Tigers v Florida Fire Frogs. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland, Fla. April 28, 2018. (Photo by Tom Hagerty.) (Tom Hagerty)

By Lakeland Flying Tigers | September 1, 2018 10:49 PM

Lakeland, FL - Gregory "Hans" Soto gave up six runs in 4 2/3 innings and Brock "The Death Star" Deatherage smashed a solo home run in a 7-2 defeat to the Palm Beach Cardinals on Star Wars night.

Deatherage put Lakeland up 1-0 in the first inning with his first home run as a Flying Tiger. After that, the tide turned in favor of Palm Beach. The Cardinals scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings against Soto, who battled his control and threw just 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Palm Beach stretched the lead to 7-1 in the top of the sixth when Jose Godoy scored on a wild pitch from Burris Warner.

Outside of Deatherage's homer, Cardinals starter Alex Fagalde shut down the Flying Tigers through 7 innings. Fagalde struck out eight and snapped a streak of three straight starts in which he had allowed four earned runs.

Deatherage scored a second run in the ninth on a single by AJ Simcox to cut the deficit to 7-2, but Dylan Burdeaux grounded into a double play to end the game. Deatherage and Jose Azocar both chipped in three hits in the loss.

Up Next: The Flying Tigers look to end the year on a winning note against the Palm Beach Cardinals in the final game of the season on Sunday. Alfred Gutierrez (1-4, 2.67 ERA) will lead Lakeland in the finale.

Fans can enjoy brunch in the On-Deck Suite from 10:00-1:00 p.m., featuring chicken and waffles. Kids 12 and under can play catch on the field from 10:00-10:20 a.m. and run the bases following the game, weather permitting. All fans will receive a voucher for a free sundae, compliments of Dairy Queen - North Lakeland. Get your tickets at or by calling the BayCare Box Office at (863) 413-4140.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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