Blue Jays Split Series on 9th Inning Rally, Sotolongo Walk-Off
In the final game of a 6 game set against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the Blue Jays started off hot. A lead-off single by Dasan Brown to start the game, followed by an Angel Del Rosario fielder’s choice in which he beat out a sure double play ball, gave
In the final game of a 6 game set against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the
Blue Jays started off hot. A lead-off single by Dasan Brown to start the game, followed
by an Angel Del Rosario fielder’s choice in which he beat out a sure double play ball,
gave the Blue Jays an immediate speed threat on the base paths. Del Rosario
immediately took off and stole second for his 9th stolen base of the season, beating a
close play. A Damiano Palmegiani fly out to center field advanced Del Rosario to third,
but with two outs. Adriel Sotolongo quickly fell down in the count, 0-2; and on Dillon
Tatum’s toss back to Fort Myers starter Travis Adams, Del Rosario took off and stole
home without a throw.
Then the bats fell quiet. Dunedin didn’t record their second hit until the 7th inning
on a Sotolongo single, and a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning two pitches later.
Despite only striking out 4 times, the Blue Jays couldn’t find any luck on their batted
Fort Myers came back with a run in the 3rd after Noah Miller drew a walk off of
Blue Jays starter Rafael Ohashi. Miller swiped two bags himself, and a sacrifice fly by
Kyler Fedko tied things up at 1 run apiece. In the 6th, back to back walks issued by
Ryan Boyer put a man in scoring position for the Mighty Mussels, and 2B Daniel Ozoria
came through with a two out single to put Fort Myers in front, 2-1.
The action more or less halted until the 9th inning. With Dahian Santos on the
mound in his 3rd inning of work for Dunedin, a lead off walk worked by Ozoria caused
issues instantly. He took off towards second and Jose Ferrer fired a bullet, and the Blue
Jays defense was convinced they caught Ozoria stealing. The call went in favor of Fort
Myers, which prompted Blue Jays manager, Donnie Murphy, to come to his team’s
defense. Murphy was tossed but his players were energized.
On the next pitch, Fort Myers 3B Ernie Yake singled to left, and Ozoria tested
Blue Jays RF Amell Brazoban’s arm. Brazoban lasered his throw home in plenty of time,
and Ferrer tagged Ozoria out with room to spare. Santos got out of the inning
unscathed, and the bats woke back up.
With 1 out in the 9th, Dasan Brown executed a perfect push bunt down the first
base line, and beat out the throw by Fort Myers pitcher Samuel Perez. Perez’s next
pitch was in the dirt, and Brown read it perfectly and took off to second, sliding in head
first safely. Del Rosario hit a ground-rule double, trading places with Brown, and tying
the ballgame at 2. With a 1-2 count to Palmegiani, Perez threw another wild pitch that
went through Dillon Tatum’s legs to the backstop, and Del Rosario thought he would be
just 90 feet away from first with 1 out. Home plate umpire Zachary Martin ruled he had
interfered with a potential throw from Tatum, and Del Rosario was sent back to second
on a rare Umpire Interference call. The very next pitch for Tatum’s 5-hole again, and Del
Rosario scampered into 3rd, for real this time.
Palmegiani drew a walk with the next pitch, bringing Sotolongo back up to the
dish. Sotolongo turned on the first pitch he saw and singled to left, driving in the winning
run, and walking-off the Mighty Mussels for the second time in three games to split the
series. An uplifting moment before next week's road trip to play 6 games in Bradenton
against the Marauders.