Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Single-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Tampa Tarpons Tampa Tarpons

Tarpons split doubleheader to end rainy weekend

Scott Effross throws a strike during his second Major League Rehab appearance on Sunday at GMS Field. (Mark LoMoglio)
June 23, 2024

By Jake Berend TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (1-1) and Palm Beach Cardinals (1-1) split a Sunday doubleheader at GMS Field. In Game 1, a game that spanned over three days due to inclement weather, the Tarpons emerged victorious, 5-4. The Tarpons entered the ninth inning with a five

By Jake Berend

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (1-1) and Palm Beach Cardinals (1-1) split a Sunday doubleheader at GMS Field. In Game 1, a game that spanned over three days due to inclement weather, the Tarpons emerged victorious, 5-4. The Tarpons entered the ninth inning with a five run lead, but the Cardinals didn’t go down without a fight. Palm Beach scored four runs in the final inning before falling just short as Tampa held on for victory.

Tampa fell in Game 2 of the twin bill, 13-11. The Cardinals outslugged the Tarpons, putting up thirteen runs in the seven inning contest. Four Tarpons had a multi-hit game, including SS George Lombard Jr., the Yankees’ sixth-ranked prospect, according to Tampa scored ten unanswered runs and entered the seventh down eight. The Tarpons fought hard to score six in the seventh; however, the rally came to an end with the winning run at the plate.


RHP Luis Serna (4.0IP, 2H, 1BB, 5K) tossed four shutout innings before the game was postponed for rain on Friday. Serna continued his strong June, striking out four while continuing to use his changeup as his primary pitch. The changeup totaled 42% of his total pitch usage while holding the Cardinals to an average exit velocity of 81.7 MPH on the cambio.

RHP Scott Effross (2.0IP, 1H, 3K) made his second rehab appearance with the Tarpons on Sunday during Game 1, tossing two scoreless innings. After only throwing six pitches on Wednesday, Effross built his pitch count up to 26. He filled up the strike zone, throwing 22 of those 26 pitches for strikes while striking out the side in the sixth.

With one away in the second, three consecutive singles from CF Jackson Castillo, 3B Hans Montero, and RF Willy Montero loaded the bases for LF Coby Morales. Morales bounced into a 3-6 fielder’s choice, bringing home Castillo to give Tampa the early lead.

In the fourth, the Monteros started Tampa’s rally. H. Montero walked, and W. Montero singled to put runners on the corners for the Tarpons. With W. Montero on the move, Morales lined a base hit to right field to give Tampa a 2-0 lead. Shortly after that base hit, Mother Nature struck as the rain poured down. The game was suspended and resumed on Sunday with the Tarpons holding a 2-0 lead. When play resumed, Tampa’s offense picked up where they left off. Morales swiped second base and then PH/C Antonio Gomez lined a base hit to right field, plating W. Montero and Morales to put the Tarpons up by four.

2B Roderick Arias moved his way around the bases without contact in the seventh. He got hit by a pitch and then advanced to second and third base on wild pitches. 1B Dylan Jasso cushioned Tampa’s lead, lining an RBI single to center field over the drawn-in infield of Palm Beach.

Without a hit in the ninth, the Cardinals loaded the bases for Chase Davis. With one away, Davis lofted a SAC-fly to center field to put Palm Beach on the board. RHP Montana Semmel (S, 4) entered the game trying to get the last out. The first pitch he threw to Johnfrank Salazar landed over the left field wall, pulling Palm Beach within one. Semmel settled down and retired Ross Friedrick on strikes to give Tampa the victory.


RHP Cade Smith (4.0IP, 7H, 4R, 2BB, 4K, 1HR) made his twelfth start of the season, allowing four runs in four innings pitched. He primarily relied on his fastball, throwing it 51% of the time and recorded a whiff rate of 40%.

Trey Paige laid down a bunt single on the first pitch of Game 2 to ignite Palm Beach’s offense. Following the single, Travis Honeyman walked, and then Miguel Villarroel singled to left field. The base knock scored Paige, giving Palm Beach a 1-0 lead.

LF Jackson Castillo drew a four pitch walk to open the second. CF Willy Montero stayed hot at the plate, beating out an infield single, and then DH Coby Morales walked to load the bases. Cardinals’ starter, Chen-Wei Lin, continued to have trouble finding the zone as he walked his third batter of the inning, C Tomas Frick, to bring in the tying run.

With a full count in the fourth, Samuel Hernandez took what looked like strike three until an ABS Challenge overturned the call for ball four. After the walk, Anyelo Encarnacion singled up the middle, and then a SAC-fly put runners on the corners. Ross Friedrick fell behind 0-2 in the count but turned on an inside fastball and sent it over the right field wall to put Palm Beach back in front.

Palm Beach added insurance in the fifth. Back-to-back singles from Honeyman and Villarroel set up the Cardinals to strike again. After a lightning delay, RHP Steven Fulgencio took over on the mound. He walked Chase Davis to load the bases and then walked Kade Kretzschmar to extend Palm Beach’s lead to four. Hernandez bounced out to second as Villarroel crossed the plate. Encarnacion kept the hits coming, lining a two-run double to right field.

After loading the bases in the sixth, Kretzschmar walked to bring in a run, and then Hernandez launched his first home run of the season, a grand slam, to left field to put Palm Beach up twelve.

3B Hans Montero blasted a 103.3 MPH solo shot over the right field wall in the sixth. Following the longball, Morales singled, Frick walked, and RF Daury Arias singled to load the bases. SS George Lombard Jr. capitalized, driving a two-run double down the left field line.

With two runners in scoring position, 2B Roderick Arias brought home D. Arias with a groundout.

The Tarpons fought valiantly in the seventh. After loading the bases, Frick reached on an error, which brought home Castillo and W. Montero. Following a pitching change, D. Arias singled home a run. R. Arias drew a free pass, and then Jasso hit a ground ball to third base. The ball was mishandled, allowing Frick and Lombard Jr. to score. The rally did not stop there as Castillo sent an RBI single back up the middle to pull the Tarpons within two after starting the inning down eight. H. Montero had the chance to do something special as he stepped up to the plate as the winning run. He battled through a seven pitch at bat but went down on strikes to end the game.

The Tarpons will hit the road and travel to Fort Myers to take on the Mighty Mussels on Tuesday with first pitch coming at 7:05 p.m.