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Tarpons Fall in Finale to Mighty Mussels, 9-3

Volpe Blasts 1st HR in 2nd-Straight Multi-Hit Game
Anthony Volpe circles the bases after his 1st home run of the season. (Mark LoMoglio)
May 23, 2021

TAMPA, FLA. – The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (8-10) put up a six-spot in the second and never looked back as the Tampa Tarpons (13-5) dropped the series-finale, 9-3, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa won the series, taking four-of-six from Fort Myers. RHP Jhonatan Muñoz made

TAMPA, FLA. – The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (8-10) put up a six-spot in the second and never looked back as the Tampa Tarpons (13-5) dropped the series-finale, 9-3, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa won the series, taking four-of-six from Fort Myers.

RHP Jhonatan Muñoz made the start and induced a double-play while escaping a first-inning jam. In the second, Muñoz got a strikeout before an error and a walk put two aboard for the Mighty Mussels. One out later, a pair of walks and a hit-batter, followed by a two-run double by Aaron Sabato, gave Fort Myers a 4-0 lead.

LHP Michael Giacone relieved Muñoz and was greeted by a two-run single by Keoni Cavaco. A walk later, Giacone got a strikeout to end the frame. Muñoz (L, 0-1) was charged with six runs (all unearned) on one hit, four walks and two hit-batters over one and two-third innings, tossing 47 pitches (21 strikes).

Elijah Dunham and Juan De Leon each singled off Fort Myers’ starter Sean Mooney in the second, putting runners on the corners with one out. Dunham later scored on a passed ball for a 6-1 deficit. Mooney finished two innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and three walks, striking out three on 49 pitches (27 strikes).

The Mighty Mussels added on with a run in each of the next three frames, including an RBI single by Misael Urbina in the third, an RBI double by Kyle Schmidt in the fourth, and a run-scoring error in the fifth, giving Fort Myers a 9-1 lead.

RHP Randy Vasquez relieved Giacone with one out in the fourth and held Fort Myers to one unearned run on one hit and two walks in three and two-third innings, striking out a pair while retiring the final seven batters he faced.

RHP Casey Legumina (W, 1-0) took over for Mooney in the third and retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before Anthony Volpe smashed a homer to center with one out in the seventh. Statcast had the blast traveling 404 feet with an exit velocity of 107 mph.

Later in the seventh, Trevor Hauver drew a walk off LHP Denny Bentley and took third on a double by Jake Sanford before scoring on an infield single by Andres Chaparro. Bentley then walked Carlos Narvaez but got a flyout by Dunham to strand the bases full, preserving a six-run lead for the Mighty Mussels.

RHP Zach Kohn kept the Mighty Mussels off the board in the eighth and ninth, scattering a walk and a hit while striking out one. Bentley stranded a leadoff single by Pedro Diaz in the eighth to complete his outing before LHP Zarion Sharpe worked around a walk by Chaparro and a base hit by Narvaez to close the game for Fort Myers.

Volpe (2-for-5, 2B, HR, RBI, R) clubbed his first home run while logging his second-straight multi-hit game. Chaparro (1-for-2, 2BB, HBP, RBI) reached base four times, boosting his on-base percentage to .427.

Up next, the Tarpons will play as the “away” team in a six-game series vs. the Dunedin Blue Jays beginning on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The entire series will be played at GMS Field, with $5 general admission tickets ONLY available at the box office, which opens one hour prior to first-pitch on each game day.