Fort Myers finagles 3-2 win over Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In a tightly contested ballgame, it was Fort Myers who would have the last word. RF Kala'i Rosario's run-scoring ground-rule double in the top of the eighth put the visitors ahead for good, as the Mighty Mussels vanquished the Daytona Tortugas, 3-2, in front of 1,217
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In a tightly contested ballgame, it was Fort Myers who would have the last word. RF Kala'i Rosario's run-scoring ground-rule double in the top of the eighth put the visitors ahead for good, as the Mighty Mussels vanquished the Daytona Tortugas, 3-2, in front of 1,217 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Scoreless into the sixth, Fort Myers (35-17) placed a man at first with two out. Following a double by Rosario (2-4, R, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SO), LF Rubel Céspedes (0-3, BB, SO) poked a fly ball into shallow center field. Four Daytona defenders converged on the ball, but it glanced off a mitt and landed safely on the outfield turf. Both runners scored on the error to give the Mighty Mussels a 2-0 edge.
Daytona (20-32) mustered a two-out rally in the seventh to draw even. CF Jay Allen II (2-5, R, 3 SO) stroked a single to left and advanced to second on a knock up the middle by SS Steven Leyton (1-4, R, 2 SO). LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, RBI, BB, SO) put the Tortugas on the board, scoring Allen, with another base hit to center.
Now down a run with men at first and third, 1B Ruben Ibarra (2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) fell behind in the count 0-2. The Watsonville, Calif. rifled the next offering over the left fielder's head for a hit. Leyton scored easily from third to tie the game, but O'Guinn was given the windmill around third. The University of Southern California alum was ruled out at the plate on a bang-bang play, keeping the game even at two.
The contest did not stay tied for long, as Fort Myers collected a game-deciding two-out rally of their own. 2B Mikey Perez (1-4, R, 2B, 3 SO) ignited the Mussels with a double into the left-field corner and advanced to third on a wild pitch. 1B Noah Cardenas (1-1, R, 2 BB) was intentionally walked after working a 3-0 count, setting the stage for Rosario.
The Papaikou, Hawaii native was behind in the at-bat with a 1-2 count before providing the lead. Rosario powered a towering fly ball over the head of the center field and over the fence on a hop. Perez scored on the ground-rule two-bagger, granting Fort Myers the lead once more, 3-2.
RHP Malik Barrington (2.0 IP, 4 SO) emerged from the bullpen for Fort Myers in the eighth and slammed the door shut. The 24-year-old retired all six hitters he faced — striking out four — to seal the win and his third save of the season.
Neither starter factored into the decision on Wednesday. RHP José Franco (4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 SO) punched out seven over four scoreless for Daytona, while Fort Myers' LHP Jaylen Nowlin (3.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 6 SO) scattered one hit and whiffed six over three frames.
RHP Regi Grace Jr. (2.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, SO) was picked up by the Mussels offense after suffering a blown save. The right-hander was credited with his second triumph of the year.
Despite striking out a career-high six hitters, RHP Ryan Cardona (3.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 6 SO) was saddled with his first defeat of 2022 for the Tortugas.
The biggest party in Central Florida returns to the World’s Most Famous Beach as the set continues with a Thirsty Thursday™ presented by Bud Light. All fans will be able to beat the heat and enjoy their favorite draft beer or fountain soda for as low as $1 at concession and beer stands throughout the night. Fans can bring their four-legged friend for a nine-inning vacation of their own on another Bark in the Park Night. For just $2, patrons can purchase a “pooch pass” so their pup can join in on the fun, as well.
The Tortugas will try and return to the win column on Thursday, as RHP Chase Petty (0-2, 3.78) — Cincinnati's No. 7 prospect per Baseball America — is expected to toe the slab. LHP Jordan Carr (NR) is projected to take the ball and make his Mighty Mussels debut. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Season tickets, multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.