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Tarpons unable to solve Threshers, fall 3-2

(Mark LoMoglio)
June 21, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Tarpons (27-37) started off hot but gradually cooled down as the game progressed, leading them to drop Tuesday night’s contest to the Clearwater Threshers (33-30), 3-2. RHP Tyrone Yulie (4.0IP, 2H, 2ER, 3BB, 2K) drew the start for Tampa and took the mound in hopes

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Tarpons (27-37) started off hot but gradually cooled down as the game progressed, leading them to drop Tuesday night’s contest to the Clearwater Threshers (33-30), 3-2.

RHP Tyrone Yulie (4.0IP, 2H, 2ER, 3BB, 2K) drew the start for Tampa and took the mound in hopes that he could change their fortunes against Clearwater this season. During their first series in April, the Threshers dominated the Tarpons for a clean six game sweep.

After two innings, those hopes looked pretty good.

The Tarpons converted JoJo Romero’s first two pitches of the game into base hits. SS Alexander Vargas lined one into centerfield, followed by CF Jasson Dominguez who ripped one on the ground to left. On a double steal attempt, Clearwater catcher and former Yankees’ farmhand Donny Sands threw down to second rather than third to erase Dominguez off the bases. C Antonio Gomez drew a full count walk to put runners on the corners with one out. Next up, 1B Anthony Garcia smacked one directly to third baseman Nicholas Torres, who was unable to field the ball cleanly. His mishap would allow Vargas to score and gave Tampa the early lead. 3B Marcos Cabrera joined the action with a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield, but the bases loaded opportunity was wasted as 2B Ben Cowles rolled into a double play to end the frame.

In the bottom of the second inning, DH Connor Cannon poked one down the right field line to score LF Grant Richardson, who is fresh off being named FSL Player of the Week. In addition to scoring in the second, Richardson had a remarkable throw to the plate in the top half of the frame to cut a runner off at the plate.

Yulie lasted four strong innings before running into some trouble in the fifth. After allowing a leadoff single to Micah Yonamine, he walked Wilfredo Flores and appeared to motion over to his dugout. Whether due to injury or fatigue, Rachel Balkovec decided to bring in RHP Danny Watson in relief.

Watson was able to record the first two outs of the high-pressure situation, but Leandro Pineda made sure to not strand those ducks on the pond. On a full count, Pineda sliced one into the corner in rightfield to score both Yonamine and Flores to knot things up at two apiece. Pineda crossed the plate to give his team the go-ahead run on a bloop single off the bat of Sands.

Sands, who played with the Tarpons in 2019, was traded to the Phillies along with RHP Nick Nelson before the start of this season. In return, the Yankees netted 3B T.J. Rumfield (High-A) and LHP Joel Valdez (FCL Yankees).

Over the course of their last ten games, Tampa has lost six of them by only run one.

The Tarpons play host to the Threshers tomorrow night for game two of their six game set – first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM EST.