JUPITER, Fla. - Tortugas' RHP Ryan Lillie shined in a homecoming of sorts. The former Marlins' prospect and Jupiter starter held his old teammates to one earned run over six innings. However, the Hammerheads had the last say, as a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th from 3B James Nelson gave Jupiter a 4-3 win
JUPITER, Fla. - Tortugas' RHP Ryan Lillie shined in a homecoming of sorts. The former Marlins' prospect and Jupiter starter held his old teammates to one earned run over six innings. However, the Hammerheads had the last say, as a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th from 3B James Nelson gave Jupiter a 4-3 win over the Daytona Tortugas at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Monday night.
After the Tortugas (4-8) failed to score in their half of the 10th inning, the Hammerheads (6-5) advanced their automatic runner to third with a deep fly ball to center. Following consecutive intentional walks to load the bases, Nelson (1-4, RBI) smacked another deep drive to center. CF Lorenzo Cedrola made the catch, but SS Jose Devers ' speed from third was too much. The 19-year-old scored to give the Hammerheads' the 4-3 walk-off victory.
Daytona had initially jumped on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the first. After a single by 1B Bruce Yari (3-5, 2 R, SO), a pair of walks loaded the bases. With the sacks full and one out, SS Yonathan Mendoza (0-4, RBI, SO) hit a slow grounder that trickled past the third baseman's mitt. The fielding error brought Yari home to give the Tortugas a 1-0 edge.
The Hammerheads managed to tie it up in the second and grab the lead in the third. A free pass and a single started the frame for Jupiter in the second when DH Isael Soto (1-4, RBI, SO) stroked a base-hit through the right side. The run-scoring single evened the game up at one apiece.
In the third, Devers (1-5, 2 R, 2 SO) and CF Victor Victor Mesa (2-5, SO) rapped back-to-back singles to begin the inning. However, an errant throw trying to nab Devers going first-to-third sailed into the seats. The wild toss granted Devers home plate and put the Hammerheads in front, 2-1.
A two-run fifth inning put Daytona back in the driver's seat. After LHP Braxton Garrett (4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) had retired 12-straight hitters from the first inning onward, Cedrola (1-3, R) and Yari reached on infield singles to spark a rally. On a double-steal attempt following a strikeout, a swipe tag on the throw to third jarred the ball loose. Cedrola popped to his feet and raced home without a toss to tie the game at two. After another knock from 2B Alejo Lopez (1-4, BB, 2 SO), CF Stuart Fairchild (1-4, RBI, BB, 2 SO) roped a single to center - scoring Yari - placing the 'Tugas back up, 3-2.
However, another unearned run in the sixth put a damper on Lillie's performance (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, ER, BB, 5 SO). Jupiter put men at first and third courtesy of a single and a missed catch error on a fielder's choice. With one away, C Nick Fortes (1-3, 2B, RBI) clocked a line drive to center. Cedrola tracked the ball down, but the runner from third scored to even the contest up at three apiece.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Lillie hurled a quality start, while Garrett punched out seven for Jupiter in his second start back from Tommy John surgery.
RHP Vincenzo Aiello (2.0 IP, H, 2 SO) worked two spotless innings of relief for the Hammerheads, earning his first win of 2019. It was a tough-luck defeat for RHP Wendolyn Bautista (1.2 IP, H, R, 2 BB, SO) as an unearned run in extras dealt him his first loss.
The Tortugas will try to regroup tomorrow evening, as they are expected to send LHP Packy Naughton (1-1, 3.86 ERA) - the Reds' No. 21 prospect according to MLB.com - to the mound in game two. Jupiter is scheduled to counter with the Marlins' 12th-best farmhand per Baseball America, LHP Trevor Rogers (0-1, 5.40 ERA).
The Tortugas Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:15 p.m. ET, leading up to the 6:30 p.m. ET start at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Tuesday evening's contest can be heard on daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Following the week on the road, the Tortugas will return to The Jack to take on the Dunedin Blue Jays, High-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, on Monday, April 22. It will be the team's first Belly Buster Monday of the year presented by Marco's Pizza. For just a $13 ticket, fans will be treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet of their favorite ballpark foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and popcorn.
Season ticket and multi-game plans are still 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 High-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the 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 and many large community events and initiatives throughout the season.