CLEARWATER, Fla. — Down to their final strike twice, Daytona rallied from four runs down to force extra innings in the ninth and took their first lead on a CF Austin Hendrick single in the 10th. However, the miraculous comeback would not have a happy ending. Clearwater picked up a pair of runs with two outs in the 10th — the latter on a LF Wilfredo Flores RBI single — as the Threshers defeated the Tortugas, 9-8, in 10 innings on Friday night at BayCare Ballpark.
Trailing 7-3 headed to the ninth, LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB) quietly sparked a rally for Daytona (13-18) with a one-out walk. After a fielding error and a strikeout, the Tortugas were down to their final out and DH Wilfred Astudillo (2-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI) at the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, the Barcelona, Venezuela native uncorked a line shot into the right-field corner. Both baserunners scored on Astudillo's double to pull the 'Tugas within two, 7-5.
The baton was then passed to 3B Braylin Minier (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO). The 18-year-old — added to the roster from the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday — immediately fell behind 0-2 before watching a pitch miss outside. Minier eviscerated the next pitch onto the berm in right-center field for a game-tying two-run home run. His first long ball of the campaign — a 400-foot clout — knotted the contest at seven.
After RHP Sam Benschoter (4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 6 SO) stranded the winning run at second base in the bottom of the ninth, Daytona's offense continued their assault in the top of the 10th.
With 1B Reyny Reyes (0-4, R, SO) at second base as the automatic runner, RF Blake Dunn (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, SO) quickly sacrificed him to third on a bunt. Hendrick (2-5, R, RBI, 2 SO) fell behind 1-2 but never wavered. After working the count even, the 20-year-old punched a line drive into right-center for a knock. Reyes easily scored, giving the 'Tugas their first lead, while Hendrick took an extra base to second on a fielding error.
Daytona was unable to tack on. Threshers RHP Alex Garbrick (1.0 IP, H, R, BB) intentionally walked SS Gus Steiger (2-4, BB) before inducing a ground ball double play to end the inning.
The Tortugas recorded consecutive strikeouts looking to start the bottom of the tenth, but DH Jamari Baylor (1-5, R, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) tied the game at eight for Clearwater (16-12) on a double off the right-field wall. On an 0-2 delivery, Flores (3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB) laced a liner into left-center field to score Baylor and give the Threshers a 9-8 victory.
Clearwater jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when RF Marcus Lee Sang (2-5, R, 2B, 2 SO) doubled and scored on a two-run blast that hooked around the right-field pole by Flores.
In the fourth, Daytona drew even. The Tortugas loaded the bases on singles from Dunn and Hendrick, plus a bunt knock from Steiger. O'Guinn cracked a base-hit to center to chase home two, tying the contest.
Both squads traded runs in the middle innings. The Threshers regained a 3-2 advantage on a sacrifice fly to left by CF Yhoswar García (1-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 SO) in the fifth. Dunn knotted it at three for Daytona in the sixth with a solo home run — his first of the season — into the left-field bullpens.
It became a 7-3 affair when Clearwater put up four in the bottom of the seventh. The Phillies' affiliate took the lead on a single to left from García and added three more on a home run that just snuck out to left from 2B Hao Yu Lee (3-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB).
Neither starter received a decision on Friday night. Tortugas RHP José Franco (4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO) yielded just two runs over four frames, while LHP Jordi Martínez (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 SO) posted a season-high five innings for the Threshers.
Garbrick (1.0 IP, H, R, BB) earned his second triumph of the season out of the bullpen for Clearwater. Daytona's RHP Dennis Boatman (0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, ER, 2 SO) was saddled with his third defeat in relief.
The Tortugas will attempt to return to snap the three-game slide on Saturday. RHP Chase Petty (0-2, 3.20) is anticipated to make the start for Daytona. Clearwater is scheduled to give the ball to RHP Andrew Painter (0-1, 0.00). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:15 p.m. leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Bay Care Ballpark.
After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, May 17, to open up a series against the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Florida State League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. 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.