DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Narciso Crook doubled home the winning run in the 10th inning of Daytona's 5-4 win Thursday night in front 2,797 fans at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. It was Daytona's first walk-off win, snapping a season-worst four-game losing streak.
It was another back and forth game in the series finale. Jake Cronenworth stole home on a double steal in the first inning to continue his splendid start to the year and put Charlotte on the board. That lead would last until the fifth, when Shed Long blasted his first homerun of the year 391 feet to right field, scoring Chadwick Tromp as well, to give Daytona the lead, 2-1.
The eighth inning continuedto be a brutal frame for the Tortugas throughout the duration of the series. The Stone Crabs scored seven runs, including two more on Thursday to tilt the scoreboard in their favor, in the eighth innings. Two singles by Ryan Boldt, off LHP Juan Martinez, and Brett Sullivan, off of RHP Austin Orewiler, brought Dalton Kelly and Kevin Padlo home, respectively, to make it 3-2 Charlotte.
Unlike the earlier stages of the four-game set, the Tortugas had an answer this time around. Nick Senzel cracked the second of his two doubles into the left field corner to force Charlotte reliever RHP Brandon Lawson out of the game. Gavin LaValley took the first pitch he saw from new pitcher RHP Bryan Bonnell and nailed it over the left field fence to give Daytona the lead back, 4-3. It was the third LaValley home run of the series and league-best fifth on the year.
Tanner Rainey had his perfect start to the season come to an end in the ninth inning. With two out, nobody on, and a strike away from earning the save, Brandon Lowe hit a fly ball that cleared the fence in the left field corner by a few inches to tie the game, again, at 4. That was the first hit, and run, allowed by the Tortugas reliever in 2017.
However, the Tortugas would respond in the extra frame. LaValley logged another extra base hit, by doubling to deep right, to start off the bottom of the 10th. In a 2-0 count, Narciso Crook blasted a double to the wall in left, scoring pinch-runner Blake Butler and bringing the losing streak to an end.
RHP Sarkis Ohanian (1-0) looked much better in his second Advanced-A outing. He set down the Stone Crabs in order in the top half of the tenth, fanning two in the process.
RHP Vladimir Gutierrez got to five innings for the first time in his Minor League career. He yielded five hits, an earned run, and punched out a career-high seven.
The Tortugas open up a three-game set with the St. Lucie Mets on Friday at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. It begins with Guy Harvey, as the players will be wearing special Guy Harvey jerseys that will be auctioned off for The Guy Harvey Foundation. RHP Jesus Reyes (2-0, 5.11) will go against St. Lucie's RHP Nabil Crismatt (1-0, 2.25). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:50 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB.
Notes: Narciso Crook extended his hitting streak to four games with his walk-off double, a season-high… The 2-4 hitters in the Tortuga lineup (Long, Senzel, LaValley) went a combined 7-for-14 on the night with two homers, three doubles, and four RBI… Mitch Piatnik had another sacrifice bunt on Thursday. He leads the FSL with four of those on the young season
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.