DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After suffering four walk-off defeats on the road against Palm Beach in April, Daytona got a smidge of revenge on Tuesday night. 3B Michel Triana blasted the first pitch of the home ninth for a walk-off solo home run, as the Tortugas topped the Cardinals, 5-4, in front of 1,522 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Daytona (17-23) held a 4-3 advantage entering the top of the ninth. 1B Brady Whalen (1-4, R, BB, SO) earned a one-out walk for Palm Beach (14-26) and promptly moved to second with the tying run on a wild pitch. SS Jeremy Rivas (3-4, 2 RBI, BB) punched a ground ball through the right side of the infield for a base hit. Whalen came around to score, tying the game at four.
After RHP Dennis Boatman (2.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) limited the damage to one, keeping the game tied, the 'Tugas did not need long to end it in the bottom half of the inning.
On the very first pitch of the frame, Triana (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) hit a towering fly ball down the right-field line. The blast sailed just beyond the fence for a walk-off solo home run, the 22-year-old's second of the year, giving Daytona a 5-4 win.
The walk-off victory was the first for the Tortugas in 2022 and their first since SS Ivan Johnson's game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th against the Cardinals on June 15, 2021
Palm Beach grabbed an early advantage in the lid-lifter. With the bases empty and two out in the third, 3B Osvaldo Tovalin (1-5, R, SO) appeared to strikeout to end the inning but reached on a dropped third strike wild pitch. After a Whalen single to left advanced him to second, Rivas poked a base-hit to left. The run scored giving the Cards a 1-0 lead.
RF Darlin Moquete (2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SO) led off the top of the fourth for the Cardinals with gusto. The 22-year-old powered a solo home run down the left-field line — his first since August of 2019 — to extend the Redbirds' advantage to 2-0.
Later in the frame, C Wade Stauss (1-4, R, 3 SO) reignited a rally with a single and advanced to third on a double to left by 2B Brandon Hernández (1-2, 2B, 2 BB, SO). LF Tyler Reichenborn (0-4, RBI, SO) would make it a 3-0 affair with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Tortugas broke up the shutout bid in the fifth. RF Blake Dunn (2-2, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB) reached on a walk to start the inning and stole second base with one out. After a strikeout and a walk to C Daniel Vellojín (0-3, R, BB, SO), 2B Tyler Callihan (0-4) hit a grounder back to the mound. The underhand flip to first sailed over everyone's head and up the right-field line. Two runs scored, as Callihan ended up at third, drawing Daytona within one, 3-2.
In the seventh, the 'Tugas jumped in front. Dunn wasted no time in knotting the score, slamming a solo blast beyond the manual scoreboard in left-center to start the inning. The Saugatuck, Mich. native's second home run of the campaign evened the tide at three.
With one out, PH-SS Steven Leyton (1-1, R, 3B) slashed a liner that snuck under the glove of the right fielder and rolled to the base of the wall. The 23-year-old motored all the way to third with a triple before scoring on a two-out wild pitch to put the Tortugas up, 4-3.
Neither starter factored into the decision on Tuesday. RHP Hunter Parks (4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 SO) yielded three runs over four frames for Daytona, while RHP Trent Baker (6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 SO) walked a season-high five for Palm Beach. He permitted only two unearned tallies in six innings.
Boatman (2.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) garnered his first victory of the year for the Tortugas, despite suffering the blown save in the ninth. LHP Hayes Heinecke (2.0+ IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 SO) was saddled with his third defeat in relief for the Redbirds.
Fans are advised to arrive with an empty stomach as the series continues with a Belly Buster Wednesday presented by Marco’s Pizza. A long-standing fan favorite, starting at just $14, patrons will receive a bracelet and may indulge in all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and popcorn at concession stands all evening long. The Tortugas will also celebrate World Turtle Day with special on-field games and activities to mark the occasion.
The Tortugas are expected to give the ball to RHP Javi Rivera (1-2, 3.33). The Cardinals are projected to counter with RHP Tink Hence (0-1, 3.00). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
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.