BRADENTON, Fla. - On the verge of dropping a season-high fifth-straight game, Daytona refused to let that become reality. 1B Leo Seminati’s go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the eighth was the difference, as the Tortugas rallied to clip the Marauders, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at LECOM Park.
After surrendering the lead in the bottom of the fifth, C Wilfred Astudillo (3-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, SO) quickly got a tally back leading off the sixth. The switch-hitter banged a shot off the facing of the boardwalk in right for his second home run of the season — a solo blast — to draw Daytona (15-21) within 6-5.
Two innings later, it was Astudillo who set the stage for the game’s biggest blow. The 21-year-old dunked a single to center, bringing Seminati (1-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB) to the dish. On a 1-1 delivery, the Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy native waxed a drive into the gap in right-center. The shot sailed over the fence for a two-run blast — his first of the season — giving the Tortugas the lead back, 7-6.
Daytona mustered an insurance run later in the frame. CF Rafael Franco (1-4, R, RBI, 2 SO) reached on a dropped third strike, took second on a balk, scooted to third on a SS Gus Steiger (2-4, RBI) single, and crossed, 8-6, on a sacrifice fly to right by 2B Steven Leyton (0-4, RBI, 2 SO).
Bradenton (23-13) appeared on the precipice of drawing even, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of that frame. RHP Vin Timpanelli (1.2 IP, H, 2 BB) remained unbothered, induced a 3-2-3 double play to leave the bags full and keep the Tortugas in charge.
In the bottom of the ninth, a leadoff walk put the Tortugas on edge. The defense stepped up again, though, as 3B Reyny Reyes made a grab while falling backward in foul territory for the first out. Astudillo subsequently made a barehand pick on a dribbler in front of the plate to start a game-ending 2-4-3 double play, sealing Daytona’s 8-6 triumph.
RHP Jake Gozzo (1.1 IP, 2 BB) — listed as a first baseman in the 2021 Cincinnati Reds media guide, but has been in the ‘Tugas bullpen all year — earned his first professional victory after 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Timpanelli — listed as a catcher — garnered his third save in closing the victory.
After a scoreless outing against the ‘Tugas on Thursday, RHP Sergio Umana (1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 SO) yielded three runs, suffering his first defeat of the season.
CF Hudson Head (2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB, SO) gave the Marauders an early lead, leading off the home first with a home run — his fourth — beyond the boardwalk in right-center.
After LF Wendell Marrero (1-1, R) singled and scored on an error to tie the game, 1-1, in the top of the second, the Marauders regained the lead, 2-1, with two out in the bottom half. C Eli Wilson (1-3, R, 2B, BB, SO) doubled off the left-field wall and scored on a two-bagger down the line in left by SS Norkis Marcos (2-4, R, 2B, RBI).
A three-run explosion in the fourth granted the Tortugas their first lead. LF Danny Lantigua (1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SO) — who entered the game in the bottom of the third for Marrero — clocked the second pitch of the inning for his third home run, tying it at two.
With men at first and third courtesy of a Reyes (1-5, R) single and a walk to Seminati, Franco picked up his first Low-A Southeast base-hit with a run-scoring single to right, 3-2. Steiger proceeded to tally an RBI knock of his own to double the advantage, 4-2.
The Marauders swiped the lead back, 6-4, in the fifth on a 2B Jase Bowen (1-3, R, RBI, BB, SO) RBI single, a bases-full walk to RF Sammy Siani (0-4, R, RBI, BB, SO), and a pair of errors on a fielder’s choice.
Neither starter factored into the decision on Sunday. Daytona RHP Jason Parker (4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) and Bradenton RHP Adrian Florencio (4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO) each punched out six and allowed season-highs in runs allowed.
Baseball returns to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, June 15, as the ‘Tugas will square off against the Palm Beach Cardinals, Low-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging, as Daytona players and coaches will don special pink-tinted uniforms to mark the occasion. Silver Sluggers Night — the best club in baseball for fans 60-and-over — presented by Conviva Cares Solutions will also be a part of the festivities. Fans can get in on deals at the concession stand with $2.50 Michelob Ultra draft beers.
Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for the series opener. The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network and www.daytonatortugas.com will begin with the Pregame Show starting at 6:50 p.m.
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 Low-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Low-A Southeast. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach. 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.