TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons (12-4) rose from an early 5-0 deficit and took a 7-5 lead into the ninth before the Fort Mighty Mussels (7-9) tied the score, but Pat DeMarco delivered a walk-off, two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for
TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons (12-4) rose from an early 5-0 deficit and took a 7-5 lead into the ninth before the Fort Mighty Mussels (7-9) tied the score, but Pat DeMarco delivered a walk-off, two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for Tampa, 9-7, Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After strictly working in relief, LHP Edgar Barclay made his first career start. Barclay stranded a walk and a hit-batter in a scoreless first, but allowed a run in the second when Wander Valdez singled, took second on a balk and scored on a two-out knock by Willie Joe Garry Jr.
Barclay struck out Aaron Sabato to open the third but left after walking the next batter. LHP Ryan Anderson took over and Kyle Schmidt promptly delivered an RBI double into the right field corner. The next four batters reached via hit-by-pitch, walk, infield single and hit-by-pitch, and an RBI groundout capped a four-run frame before Anderson stranded a pair.
RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long started for the Mighty Mussels and retired six-of-seven before walking the bases loaded to begin the bottom of the third. Austin Wells and Trevor Hauver put Tampa on the board with back-to-back two-run doubles, cutting the deficit o 5-4. A hit-batter put two on with no outs, but Gipson-Long retired the next three batters to end the inning.
Anderson worked around a pair of walks in the fourth before leaving with two outs and a man aboard in the fifth. The 22-year-old allowed three earned runs on three hits, three walks and two hit-batters, striking out four over two and one-third innings.
Gipson-Long bounced back with scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth innings to end his start. The 23-year-old tallied seven strikeouts while yielding four earned runs on three hits, three walks and a hit-batter over five innings, preserving a 5-4 lead for the Mighty Mussels.
One out into the bottom of the sixth, DeMarco doubled off the base of the right field wall off RHP Ryan Shreve (BS, 1), and Pedro Diaz followed with a game-tying RBI single to right. One out later, Anthony Volpe walked and Wells singled home the go-ahead run for a 6-5 lead. In the seventh, Jake Sanford blasted a leadoff home run (his first) to right for a 7-5 advantage.
RHP Kevin Milam relieved Anderson with two outs in the fifth and tallied four strikeouts while scattering three singles over a scoreless two and two-third innings, leaving with one on and one out in the eighth. RHP Carson Coleman got Sabato to line out to right, and Sanford doubled off the runner at first base to end the inning.
In the ninth, Fort Myers put runners on the corners with one out and Anthony Prato lined an RBI single into right. Coleman (BS, 1) then struck out Valdez, but Garry Jr. delivered a game-tying RBI single to left before Coleman (W, 1-0) struck out Misael Urbina to end the frame.
After working a scoreless eighth, RHP Matthew Swain (L, 0-1) pitched into the ninth for the Mighty Mussels and, with one out, Carlos Narvaez worked a walk. Jesus Bastidas entered as a pinch-runner and, one out later, took second on a pickoff error. DeMarco stepped up with two outs and worked the count full before smashing a game-winning home run to right-center.
DeMarco (2-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2RBI, 2R) clubbed his fourth homer and now leads the Southeast League with 21 RBI. Wells (2-for-5, 2B, 3RBI, R) logged his second-straight multi-hit/multi-RBI game. Chad Bell (1-for-5, 2B) extended his on-base streak to 15 games.
The series continues Saturday at 6:30 p.m., with RHP Sean Boyle (2-1, 0.84) slated to make the start opposite RHP Louie Varland (2-0, 2.16). On All-You-Can-Eat (& Drink) Saturday, for ONLY $49, fans can enjoy all-you-can-eat ballpark fare and beer/wine/soda/water from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Package includes a ticket to the game and access to the private Spectrum Dugout Club.