TAMPA, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers fought Tampa through 14 innings on Wednesday night, but a walkoff single from Kyle Holder handed Clearwater a 2-1 defeat at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The 14-inning contest matched the longest game for the Threshers this season. After suffering the sweep, Clearwater (61-55, 23-23) sits 7.5 games back of the Yankees (69-46, 30-15) in the second half, and 1.5 back of Dunedin in the overall standings.
JoJo Romero gave Clearwater six innings of one-run ball in the start, and the bullpen combined to shut out Tampa for seven-straight innings before a liner to left resulted in a hustle double for Alex Palma to open the bottom of the 14th.
Tyler Gilbert (0-5) struck out Estevan Florial, but the ball was in the dirt and the throw from catcher Austin Bossart sailed high of first, putting two runners in scoring position with nobody out.
Trey Amburgey was intentionally walked, and with the Threshers playing a five-man infield, Holder hit a sinking liner to right that fell in for the game-winning hit.
The Threshers lone run of the night had crossed in the sixth inning, and snapped a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless frames thrown by Yankees pitching.
Wilson Garcia singled with one out off starter Brian Keller, and Jan Hernandez drew a walk. Derek Campbell hit into a force out at second, but the relay from Holder got away allowing Garcia to cross the plate on the error and tie the game at one.
Romero worked six innings in the no-decision for Clearwater, limiting Tampa to one run on four hits and a walk. Aaron Brown, JD Hammer, Trevor Bettencourt, and Seth McGarry teamed up to keep Tampa off the board, and Gilbert worked a scoreless 13th before the Yankees mustered the game's decisive run in the 14th inning.
Tampa pitching racked up 25 strikeouts, which fell one short of the Florida State League record. The most on record in the FSL is 26, set by the Tampa Tarpons on May 24, 1981 in a 22-inning game.
The road swing wraps up on Thursday when the Threshers head to Lakeland for the opener of a four-game series, the last three of which will take place at Spectrum Field. McKenzie Mills (0-0) has the start in game one opposed by Kyle Dowdy (7-9). First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on threshersbaseball.com starting at 6:15 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.