DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After inclement weather prohibited Friday night's game from reaching its conclusion, rain would not halt Saturday evening's festivities. The Daytona Tortugas captured the suspended contest, 4-1, while the Lakeland Flying Tigers scored three in the seventh to win game two, 5-3, in front of 1,338 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Daytona (12-27, 41-63) carried a 2-1 advantage into Saturday night after the game was halted on Friday after a 30-minute delay prior to the bottom of the fourth inning.
Lakeland (19-20, 51-54) jumped in front on the first pitch of the first inning on Friday thanks to a solo home run to left by 2B Cristian Santana (1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 SO), his sixth of the season. The Tortugas corralled the lead in the bottom half on a run-scoring single from CF Jay Allen II (2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SO) and a double by 1B Yassel Pino (2-4, 2B, RBI).
It remained a one-run contest until Daytona created separation in the bottom of the eighth. Leading off the inning, Allen powered the second pitch he saw out beyond the left-field fence for a solo home run. The 19-year-old's third clout of the campaign — and his first since April 20 — stretched the Tortugas lead to two, 3-1.
Two pitches later, LF Jack Rogers (1-3, R, HR, RBI, SO) joined in on the fun. The Spring, Texas native wallopped an offering out by the batter's eye in straight away center field for a solo shot. Rogers' fifth home run of the campaign increased the advantage to three, 4-1.
RHP Carson Rudd (2.0 IP, 4 SO) and RHP Luis Mey (3.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 4 SO) overwhelmed Lakeland hitters when the game resumed. Rudd retired all six batters he faced in his first appearance since being reinstated off the injured list on Friday, earning his first win with Daytona in 2022. Mey permitted three baserunners, but matched a career-high with four strikeouts in a season-long three frames, earning his second save.
RHP José Franco (2.1 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) reached the 100-strikeout plateau with a first-inning punch out on Friday but departed before the weather with an apparent injury. The 21-year-old took a no-decision as a result.
LHP Jake Miller (2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, SO) hurled two innings in his professional debut for the Flying Tigers and was handed his first career defeat.
In game two, it was Lakeland emerging ahead in the early going. 1B Justice Bigbie (2-4, R, 2B, SO) started the visiting second with a single to right and, while one-out walks to 2B Luke Gold (0-1, 2 R, 2 BB, SO) and RF José De La Cruz (0-2, BB, SO) loaded the bases.
C Mike Rothenberg (1-1, R, RBI, 2 BB) put the Flying Tigers in front, 1-0, by smashing a line drive single into right. CF Austin Schultz (0-1, 2 RBI) subsequently lifted a sacrifice fly to center to stretch Lakeland's lead to a pair. De La Cruz was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play, ending the rally.
Lakeland remained in charge until Daytona battled back to tie it in the sixth. 2B Trey Faltine (1-3, R, BB, 2 SO) began the attack with a single to right and scooted over to third on a double down the left-field line by RF-LF Jack Rogers (2-3, R, 2B). DH Hayden Jones (1-2, 2 RBI) slapped a ground ball through the box and into center field for a single, scoring both runners, to even the game at two.
The contest did not remain even for long, though. Gold coaxed a walk to start the top of the seventh and a free pass to Rothenberg, plus a wild pitch placed men at second and third with one out. Schultz hit a slow tapper to short, but even with the infield in, Daytona's only play was to first base. Gold scored on the ground out, giving Lakeland a 3-2 edge.
SS Peyton Graham (1-4, R, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) and DH Manuel Sequera (1-4, 2B, RBI) added some cushioning. The 2022 second-round selection out of Oklahoma and the 18-year-old prospect from Venezuela registered back-to-back RBI doubles, padding the Flying Tigers' lead to three, 5-2.
Daytona mustered a rally in the bottom of the frame, but could not come all the way back. RF Fidel Castro (2-2, R, 3B) pounded a triple into the right-center field gap with one out in the frame and scratched the dish on a wild pitch.
With the Tortugas now behind, 5-3, RHP Blake Holub (1.0 IP, H, R, ER, 2 SO) tallied a ground ball to first and a swinging strikeout to seal his third save and Lakeland's victory.
Neither starter received a decision in the finale. Tortugas' RHP José Acuña (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) yielded his first two earned runs since being acquired in a trade with the New York Mets in late July, matching a career-best with five innings pitched. RHP Marco Jiménez (3.0 IP, H, 4 BB, 4 SO) walked four but composed his first scoreless outing of the year with the Flying Tigers.
Despite suffering a blown save, Lakeland's RHP Tyler Mattison (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 SO) earned his third victory of the campaign out of the bullpen. RHP Alberto Gonzalez III (1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, SO) was handed his second defeat in relief for Daytona.
The series closes on Sunday with Shelldon’s Family Fun Day. Members of the brand-new kids and family plan receive tickets to every Sunday home game in addition to a Tortugas’ hat, a meal voucher — good for a free hot dog, popcorn, and small fountain drink — at the gates. After the final out, youngsters take the diamond with Kids Run The Bases presented by Neighbor’s Ice Cream Parlor.
RHP Julian Aguiar (7-7, 3.51) is projected to take the hill for Daytona as they attempt to earn a series split. Lakeland is scheduled to counter with LHP Carlos Peña (4-3, 3.59). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 5:20 p.m. leading up to the 5:35 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 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.