TAMPA, Fla. -- Brandon Wagner homered for the second-straight night and Jonathan Loaisiga impressed in his Tarpons debut as Tampa defeated the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 2-0, in the home opener on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After allowing a pair of infield hits in the first inning, Loaisiga retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced. An error and another infield single put two on with two out in the fifth, but Loaisiga struck out Cam Gibson to end the inning.
Loaisiga (W, 1-0) threw five scoreless frames, scattering four hits while striking out five. The Nicaragua native threw 46 of 64 pitches for strikes and allowed only one hit to leave the infield.
Lakeland starter Austin Sodders retired the first nine batters he faced before Diego Castillo lined a leadoff single in the fourth. Castillo advanced on a groundout by Estevan Florial and scored when Isiah Gilliam lined a two-out double over Gibson's head in left field.
Wagner provided the Tarpons with insurance in the sixth, blasting a two-out home run over the wall in right-center.
Sodders (L, 0-1) made a quality start for the Flying Tigers, yielding two earned runs on four hits in six innings. The southpaw tallied seven strikeouts without allowing a walk and threw 53 of 72 pitches for strikes.
LHP Justin Kamplain struck out a pair while retiring six of seven batters faced in the sixth and seventh. LHP Trevor Lane stranded a pair of leadoff singles in the eighth, getting Daniel Pinero to pop out before striking out Daz Cameron and Isaac Paredes.
After a 17-minute power delay, RHP David Sosebee (SV, 2) relieved Lane with a runner at first and one out in the ninth. Sosebee inherited a 3-0 count on Anthony Pereira, but got the batter to pop out. A single by Andres Sthormes put the tying runs aboard, but Sosebee got Jose Azocar to fly out, ending the game.
Hoy Jun Park (2-for-3) celebrated his 22nd birthday while collecting a hit in his third-straight game. Castillo (2-for-4, R) logged his second multi-hit game of the series.
The series wraps up on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on Kids Funday Sunday. Kids ages 14-and-under can enjoy half-priced kids meals and run the bases after the game. RHP Michael King (0-0, -.--) is scheduled to start against RHP Anthony Castro (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.