Tarpons Score Late for 4-2 Win on Opening Day

Castillo, Florial Fuel Come-From-Behind Win in Lakeland

Estevan Florial (2-for-5, 3B, 2RBI) connects on one of his two hits in Tampa's 4-2 win at Lakeland on Thursday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia | April 5, 2018 10:58 PM

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Diego Castillo and Estevan Florial combined to drive in four late runs as the Tampa Tarpons (1-0) came back to beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers (0-1), 4-2, in front of an opening day crowd of 2,060 on Thursday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.


Tampa trailed, 2-0, entering the seventh before Tim Lynch began the rally with a bunt single. The Flying Tigers shifted their infield to the right side with one out and the lefty Lynch at the plate. Lynch pushed the ball into the wide-open third-base side for an easy single.


Francisco Diaz followed with the second of his three walks. After a fly out by Angel Aguilar , Castillo grounded a two-out single into center, scoring Lynch. Florial followed suit with a base hit up the middle, plating Diaz and tying the game at 2-2.


Diaz drew a leadoff walk against Lakeland reliever Joe Navilhon (L, 0-1) in the ninth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aguilar. Castillo singled to center and centerfielder Daz Cameron threw towards home. Diaz came around to score, touching the plate with his left hand while sliding around the tag of catcher Austin Athmann.


Florial blasted a ball over Cameron's head and to the base of the wall 420 feet away. Castillo easily scored as Florial came to a screeching stop around third for a standup triple, giving Tampa a 4-2 lead.


Lakeland put the tying runs aboard with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but RHP David Sosebee (SV, 1) got Cameron to fly out to center to secure the win.


RHP Trevor Stephan made the start in his Tampa debut and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts while allowing two earned runs on three hits, one walk and three hit-batters in four innings, leaving the game with a runner on first and no outs in the fifth.


RHP Adonis Rosa (W, 1-0) earned the win by stranding three hits and one walk while striking out three over four scoreless relief innings.


Isaac Paredes opened the scoring with a solo home run off Stephan with two outs in the third. Paredes later added a two-out, RBI single off Rosa in the fifth. LHP Gregory Soto held the Tarpons scoreless for five innings in the start for Lakeland, scattering one hit, two walks and a hit-batter while striking out five.


Castillo (2-for-5, 2RBI, R), Florial (2-for-5, 3B, 2RBI) and Hoy Jun Park (2-for-4) had multi-hit games. Tampa went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position.


The series continues on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when RHP Freicer Perez (0-0, -.--) makes his season debut opposite former Florida Gators start RHP Alex Faedo (0-0, -.--). Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tarpons Radio Network.

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

View More