TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (29-28) gave their fans an extra thrill on Fan Appreciation Night, walking off the St. Lucie Mets (16-41) in ten innings at George M. Steinbrenner Field. After being held scoreless through the first nine innings, Tampa rallied for two runs in the tenth, with
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (29-28) gave their fans an extra thrill on Fan Appreciation Night, walking off the St. Lucie Mets (16-41) in ten innings at George M. Steinbrenner Field. After being held scoreless through the first nine innings, Tampa rallied for two runs in the tenth, with the hero being LF Tayler Aguilar. The crowd erupted for Aguilar when he grounded the game-winner past St. Lucie’s drawn-in infield to extend Tampa’s winning streak to three games.
Saturday’s contest started out as a pitchers' duel, with Tampa’s starter, RHP Sean Hermann, tossing a dominant eight innings of shutout ball. Hermann outdueled Douglas Orellana, who pitched 6.2 scoreless innings. Hermann’s keys to success were evenly mixing his four pitches and limiting the exit velocities of Port St. Lucie’s batters. His sinker, which was his most relied-upon pitch, held the Mets to an average exit velocity of 83 MPH. Since making a spot start with the Hudson Valley Renegades, Hermann’s ERA with Tampa sits at 2.33 in four starts.
Fast forward to the ninth, when RHP Luis Arejula (1-0) took over after eight shutout innings from Hermann. He drilled the first batter he faced, Nick Morabito. Morabito then swiped second and 3B Dylan Jasso preserved the tie, making a game-saving diving play to rob Wilfredo Lara of an extra-base hit down the line. Then, with one out, SS Brenny Escanio made two charging plays on soft-ground balls to keep the tie intact and give Tampa a chance to walk it off.
In the top of the tenth, Karell Paz pinch ran for the Mets on second base as the extra-inning ghost runner. After Arejula recorded the first two outs, Nick Lorusso blasted the go-ahead double over RF Jackson Castillo’s head to give Port St. Lucie the first run of the night.
In the home half of the tenth, Tampa elected to pinch-run Roc Riggio as the extra-inning runner, which ended up paying dividends. 1B Josh Moylan drew a walk, and with no outs, both Moylan and Riggio took off, trying for a double steal. With the runners in motion, 3B Dylan Jasso hit a shallow fly ball into no man’s land in shallow right field. At first, Riggio and Moylan both thought the ball would be caught, so they started to head back to their respective bases, but once they realized the ball was going to drop, both runners turned on the jets, and Riggio just beat the throw home to knot the game at one. The Mets decided to intentionally walk CF Nelson Medina to load the bases and set up the force at every base. That brought up Aguilar, who sent the fans home happy with the game-winning single just past the outstretched glove of Diego Mosquera at second base.
The Tarpons will go for the sweep tomorrow in their last home game of the season at GMS Field against the Mets. Newcomer Sebastian Keane will toe the slab, with first pitch set for 12:00 p.m.