LAKELAND, Fla. — After tying a career-high with four runs batted in on Friday, 2B Tyler Callihan matched a career-best with four knocks on Saturday. He and Daytona utilized a seven-run first inning to their benefit, as the Tortugas topped the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 11-7, from Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Daytona (26-35) started fast, as Callihan (4-6, 2 2B, RBI) led off the contest with a double to center. After being thrown out trying to advance to third on a ground ball to short, LF Jack Rogers (1-4, 2 R, BB, SO) walked and 3B Michel Triana (4-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBI) singled to give the Tortugas a 1-0 lead.
Following an infield fly pop-up, C Wilfred Astudillo (1-5, R) loaded the bases with a single to center. CF Ashton Creal (0-4, R, RBI, BB, SO) coaxed a walk to force home a run, extending the advantage to two. DH Austin Callahan (2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB) chased the starter with a two-RBI knock into center field, doubling Daytona's edge to 4-0.
RF Fidel Castro (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB) greeted the new arm and capped the seven-run rally by launching a three-run home run out to left-center field. The Santo Domingo, D.R. native's third long ball of the year put the Tortugas up a touchdown, 7-0.
A two-out rally in the third stretched the lead to eight. Austin Callahan and Creal earned walks before Tyler Callihan posted his third blow of the game with a one-bagger to center.
Lakeland (31-31) started to chip away in their half of the third. SS Izaac Pacheco (2-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI) put Detroit's affiliate on the scoreboard with a one-out, run-scoring double to center. After taking third on a wild pitch, 3B Manuel Sequera (1-5, RBI, SO) brought him in with an infield single to third.
The Tortugas stretched their lead back to seven, 9-2, in the top of the fourth when Triana tripled to right and promptly scored on a sacrifice fly to left from 1B Yassel Pino (1-4, 2 RBI, SO).
However, the Flying Tigers hung another crooked number in the bottom of the inning. With two on and two out, 1B Mike Rothenberg (3-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, SO) powered a three-run home run beyond the fence in right. The switch-hitter's second blast of the campaign yanked Lakeland within four, 9-5.
Another run of insurance, 10-5, was added for Daytona in the sixth when Triana doubled with one retired and was immediately chased home on a looper off the bat of Pino.
Once more, though, the Flying Tigers rallied to cut the deficit to its slimmest margin at three. C Daneurys De La Cruz (0-2, 2 R, 2 BB) walked to start the inning and came around to score on a Rothenberg one-base knock and a throwing error in from right field.
After a line out, Pacheco scalded a rope into right field, chasing home another tally. The 2021 second-round pick's RBI base-hit pulled Lakeland to within 10-7.
In the eighth, the Tortugas mustered one last tally. Rogers punched a base-hit to left and Triana followed by smacking a liner to center field. The Spring, Texas native came all the way around to score from first, while the Cuban-born infielder chugged to third with his second triple of the night, pushing Daytona's edge back to four, 11-7.
RHP Owen Holt (2.0 IP, BB, 3 SO) entered from the bullpen in the bottom of the frame and slammed the door shut. The Alvin Community College alum retired six of the seven hitters he faced over two scoreless innings to seal the Tortugas' second-straight victory.
RHP Tanner Cooper (4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, BB, SO) did not last the requisite five innings to qualify for the win on Saturday. RHP Kevin Abel (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) tossed two innings in relief, earning the victory in his Daytona debut.
RHP Wilkel Hernández (0.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB) was charged with six runs and was unable to escape the top of the first, suffering his third loss of the year for Lakeland.
The Tortugas will go for the series split in the finale on Sunday. RHP Javi Rivera (2-3, 3.51) is likely to take the hill for Daytona. LHP Carlos Peña (3-1, 2.70) is anticipated to make the start for the Flying Tigers. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 12:45 p.m. leading up to the 1:00 p.m. first pitch from Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.
After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, June 21, to open up a series against the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Florida State League affiliate of the Miami Marlins. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don special pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. It is also a Silver Sluggers Night by Conviva, featuring special team store and concession stand deals for members, plus more. The series opener features Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
Season tickets, multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.