Stephan Opens Doubleheader Sweep with Seven-Inning No-No

Gil Makes Tampa Debut with Six Strong Frames in Nightcap

C Donny Sands and RHP Trevor Stephan pose in front of the scoreboard after working together on a seven-inning no-hitter in Game 1 of Tampa's doubleheader vs. Jupiter on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia / Tampa Tarpons | July 26, 2019 10:16 PM

TAMPA, Fla. - RHP Trevor Stephan fired a seven-inning no-hitter in a 2-0 victory in Game One before RHP Luis Gil logged a quality start in his Tarpons debut in a 4-3 win as Tampa took both ends of a doubleheader over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

 

Stephan (W, 1-3) faced one batter over the minimum while tallying nine strikeouts over a career-high seven frames. The 23-year-old did not issue a walk while throwing 60 of 89 pitches for strikes.

 

Nick Fortes was the only Jupiter (17-21, 38-63) batter to reach base, taking second on a two-base fielding error by first-baseman Steven Sensley to open the fifth.

 

Pablo Olivares singled and later scored on a two-out, two-run homer by Alexander Palma in the first inning off RHP Chris Vallimont for the only runs of the game. Diego Castillo and Wilkerman Garcia followed with base hits before Vallimont stranded the pair.

 

Vallimont (L, 2-3) allowed two earned runs on seven hits in five innings, walking one while striking out five on 92 pitches (58 strikes). LHP Alex Vesia relieved Vallimont in the sixth and stranded a leadoff single in a scoreless frame.

 

Gil retired the first six batters he faced in Game Two before Jhonny Santos lined a single into left to leadoff the third, collecting the first hit of the doubleheader for Jupiter. A strikeout and a 4-6-3 double-play ended the inning for Gil.

 

Jason Lopez and Leonardo Molina both walked on four pitches against LHP Will Stewart to begin the home half of the third. Olivares reached as Lopez was forced out at third for the first out. Molina then scored on an infield single by Estevan Florial , beating a throw to the plate.

 

Catcher Adrian Nieto dropped the ball on the throw home, allowing Olivares to take third. Oswaldo Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Olivares for a 2-0 lead.

 

In the fifth, Molina lined a one-out double to right and later scored on a two-out RBI triple to the wall in right-center by Florial. Cabrera followed with an RBI double into the right field corner, giving Tampa (18-19, 46-57) a 4-0 cushion.

 

Gil worked a 1-2-3 fourth and stranded a one-out double in the fifth before walking a pair to begin the sixth. Victor Victor Mesa followed with a two-run single off the right field wall, cutting the lead in half.

 

One out later, Mesa was picked off of first base by Gil for the second out of the inning. Jerar Encarnacion followed with a base hit to center, but Gil struck out Demetrius Sims to end the frame.

 

Gill (W, 1-0) held the Hammerheads to two earned runs on four hits in six innings, walking two while striking out five on 88 pitches (57 strikes). The 21-year-old showed off his fastball, reaching as high as 99 MPH.

 

James Nelson greeted RHP Bryan Blanton with a leadoff double in the seventh and, one out later, scored on a base hit by Santos, putting the tying run on base. After striking out Harrison Dinicola, Blanton (SV, 1) caught Santos stealing, throwing him out at second to end the game.

 

Castillo (2-for-6) singled twice in Game One before going hitless in the nightcap, snapping his career-best on-base streak at 22 games. Olivares (3-for-6, 2R) and Florial (2-for-4, 3B, 2BB, RBI, R) reached base in both games. Garcia (2-for-6, CS) had a multi-hit game in Game One.

 

Stephan's no-hitter was the 18th in Tampa Tarpons (Yankees) history (ninth of less than nine innings), and the sixth since Tampa became a New York Yankees affiliate in 1994, with the last occurring on 8/6/18 by RHP Deivi Garcia (7.0IP) and RHP Christian Morris (1.0IP) in a 1-0 loss to Clearwater.

 

The series continues on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for Gasparilla Going for Gold Night. RHP Alexander Vizcaino (0-0, -.--) is slated to make his Tarpons debut, getting the start against LHP Trevor Rogers (5-7, 2.53). Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.

 

On Strikeout Saturday, strikeouts by Tampa pitchers will determine the special of the day. When a Tarpons pitcher strikes out a batter, a select special will be activated for the night (each special lasts 60 minutes). In addition, fans can collect player autographs on the concourse from 5:40-6:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More