CLEARWATER, Fla. - In a game that featured four lead changes, the Clearwater Threshers outlasted the Tampa Yankees in a 6-4 victory to take the series on Motorcycle Night at Spectrum Field.
Zach Coppola followed up a three-hit performance on Friday by knocking home the go-ahead run in the seventh on Saturday, and capped off the night with a diving catch in right to end the game and preserve the win. Coppola finished 2-for-4 to extend his hit streak to 10-straight games.
Cornelius Randolph pushed his on-base streak to 10 games with a 2-for-4 night, knocking home a pair of runs with a single through the right side in the fifth inning.
The Threshers (22-15) increased their division lead to two games in the FSL North after taking two of three from Tampa (16-21).
Tampa grabbed the game's first run in the first inning, when Jeff Hendrix walked, moved to second on an errant pickoff from Seranthony Dominguez, and scored on a Chris Gitten's single up the middle.
Clearwater responded in the bottom of the third.
After a Damek Tomscha walk, Wilson Garcia attacked the first offering from Domingo Acevedo (0-4) and belted a two-run home run to right to give Clearwater the 2-1 lead on his second homer of the season.
The Yankees jumped back in front in the fourth on Jhalen Jackson's two-run homer, but again the Threshers had an answer.
In the bottom of the fifth, Coppola got the two-out rally going by dragging a bunt single toward second. He advanced to second on a wild pickoff throw before Mark Laird drew a walk. Both runners moved into scoring position when Acevedo was called for a balk.
After falling down in the count two strikes, Randolph came through by pulling a single through the right side, plating both Coppola and Laird to put Clearwater back on top, 4-3.
Tampa was not done yet, knocking three-straight singles against Edgar Garcia (1-0) to tie it in the seventh.
Knotted up at four, Austin Bossart drove a one-out double to the wall in right-center, and advanced to third on a groundout.
Coppola, who led the Threshers with a .333 average with runners in scoring position, pushed a single through the left side to score Bossart with the go-ahead run.
Jeff Singer worked around a tight spot in the eighth, after Mandy Alvarez singled, and pinch runner Jorge Mateo advanced all the way to third on a wild pickoff attempt with one out.
Singer bared down, striking out Gosuke Katoh looking on a 95 mph fastball for the second out. He then induced a fly out to right from Sharif Othman to end the inning, stranding the tying run at third.
Herlis Rodriguez gave the Threshers a bit more breathing room in the home half, knocking home Randolph with a two-out single to make it 6-4.
Singer issued a one-out walk in the ninth, but came back to strike out Tito Polo on a payoff pitch for the second out. Gittens then sent a sinking liner to right, but Coppola came up with a diving catch to rob Gittens and end the ballgame.
Singer tossed two scoreless to earn his ninth save in as many tries.
After an off day on Sunday, the Threshers will head to Fort Myers for a four-game set beginning on Monday at 6:35 p.m. Jose Taveras (4-1) takes the hill, opposed by Cody Stashak (0-3).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.