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Tortugas tackle Tarpons, 9-8, in walk-off thriller

Daytona erases a pair of five-run deficits to earn second walk-off win of 2022
LF Blake Dunn reached base three times, adding a crucial go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning. The 23-year-old sacrificed the winning run to third in the 10th, as the Daytona Tortugas walked-off the Tampa Tarpons, 9-8, in front of 1,010 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night. (Aldrin Capulong)
September 8, 2022

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Despite trailing 5-0 in the fourth and 6-1 in the sixth, the Daytona Tortugas rallied to score eight of the game's final 10 runs to walk-off the Tampa Tarpons, 9-8, in 10 innings before 1,010 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night. Behind 6-1 heading

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Despite trailing 5-0 in the fourth and 6-1 in the sixth, the Daytona Tortugas rallied to score eight of the game's final 10 runs to walk-off the Tampa Tarpons, 9-8, in 10 innings before 1,010 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night.

Behind 6-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth, Daytona (23-38, 52-74) looked to whittle the deficit down. SS Edwin Arroyo (3-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) looped a single to left leading off the inning and moved to second on a subsequent knock by CF Justin Boyd (1-4, 2 R, BB, 2 SO).

After a pair of strikeouts, C Wilfred Astudillo (1-4, 2 RBI, BB, SO) poked a two-run base-hit to left, pulling the Tortugas within 6-3.

Tampa (34-26, 61-65) snatched one of the two tallies back in the seventh. 1B Anthony García (1-5, 2 R, BB, 2 SO) roped a single to right and moved into scoring position on 2B Brett Barrera's (1-5, 4 SO) one-base knock. RF Tayler Aguilar (1-5, 2B, RBI, 3 SO) angled the second pitch he saw for a run-scoring double, placing the Tarpons up four, 7-3.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the Tortugas started to percolate. RF Jack Rogers (1-4, R, BB, 3 SO) ignited a rally with a single to left and quickly scored all the way from first on a double in the right-field corner by DH Logan Tanner (1-5, R, 2B, RBI, 3 SO). Arroyo promptly scored the 2022 second-round pick with a single through the right side, yanking Daytona's deficit to two, 7-5.

The 19-year-old shuffled into scoring position by swiping second base, while Boyd reached as the tying run on a walk. Following a strike out, LF Blake Dunn (1-2, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SO) provided a powerful blow.

The Western Michigan University alum fell behind in the count with two immediate strikes but did not miss the third offering. Dunn sent the pitch beyond the right-center field wall for a go-ahead, three-run home run. The 23-year-old's fourth blast of the campaign provided Daytona their first lead of the day, 8-7.

It did not stick, as Tampa tied the game in the top of the ninth. Trailing a five-pitch free pass to García that started the frame, DH Ben Rice (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) golfed a delivery into the right-field corner. The nimble first baseman raced all the way around from first to score on the two-base knock, tying the game at eight.

Daytona could not cash in their opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Arroyo reached on a high-arcing double to center with one out but was tagged out at the dish trying to score the winning run on a fielding error by the first baseman.

In the top of the tenth, the Tarpons were unsuccessful in scoring their automatic runner. A one-out single that deflected off the pitcher's leg by CF Spencer Jones (3-6, 2 2B, RBI, SO) placed runners at the corners, but a swinging strike out and a ground out to second on a 3-0 offering quelled the threat.

Dunn started the Tortugas' half of the extra inning with a sacrifice bunt that scooted 1B Yassel Pino (1-4, 2 R, BB, 2 SO) to third base with the winning run. Astudillo was intentionally walked to set up an inning-ending double play, but was removed in favor of a pinch-runner in Cade Hunter (0-0).

3B Austin Callahan (0-6, RBI, 2 SO) stepped in with occupants at first, and third, slapping a 3-2 pitch on the ground towards the drawn-in first baseman. Tampa's first baseman charged while the pitcher veered to his left to try and make the play. The near-collision caused the first baseman to drop the ball, allowing Pino to score the game-ending run from third without a play.

Tampa rapidly controlled the game early with crooked numbers in the third and fourth. C Antonio Gómez (2-6, R, RBI, 3 SO) produced the first run of the game for the Tarpons with a single to right. Two batters later, Rice demolished a two-run shot beyond the right-field wall. His ninth home run of the year made it 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

An inning later, RF Christopher Familia (2-4, R, 2B, BB, SO) doubled to right and stole third before staying put on 3B Beau Brewer's (1-5, SO) infield knock. SS Luis Santos (2-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SO) and Jones collected consecutive run-producing doubles to place Daytona behind 5-0.

The Tortugas captured their first run in the bottom of the fourth. Pino reached on a single with one out, advanced to second on a walk, motored to third on a fly out to right and dented the plate on a wild pitch.

Santos returned the run back to Tampa in the top of the sixth. With the bases empty and two out, the right-handed swinger lofted a solo home run to right, his second of the season.

Neither starter factored into the decision in the marathon. RHP José Acuña (3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO) tied a career-high with eight strikeouts for Daytona, while Tampa's LHP Joel Valdez (2.1 IP, H, 3 BB, 5 SO) departed in the bottom of the third with an apparent injury.

Tortugas RHP Jean Correa (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO) was hit with a line drive in the 10th inning, but kept the Tarpons off the scoreboard, earning his second victory with the club.

RHP Kevin Stevens (1.0 IP, H, R, BB) permitted just one unearned run in the extra frame but was saddled with his first Florida State League defeat.

The biggest party in Central Florida returns one last time to the World’s Most Famous Beach when the series resumes with a Thirsty Thursday™ presented by Bud Light. All fans will be able to beat the heat and enjoy their favorite draft beer or fountain soda for as low as $1 at concession and beer stands throughout the night. It will also be Monarch Night presented by FOX 35 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark featuring Best Dressed Uniforms worn by Tortugas’ players and coaches. The first 1,000 fans through the gates that evening will receive a Bandana Giveaway as part of the festivities. There will also be specially-themed on-field games and activities throughout the contest.

RHP Carson Rudd (2-1, 2.49) is expected to make his third start of the season for the Tortugas on Thursday evening. The Tarpons are projected to counter with RHP Yon Castro (2-6, 3.28). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.

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.