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Tampa walks off Daytona in game one; game two suspended

Christopher Familia clubs game-winning two-run shot in opener; Finale to resume in Daytona on September 6
SS Steven Leyton smashed a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning of game one, but Tampa rallied to stun Daytona on a walk-off, two-run homer in game one, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Game two between the Tortugas and Tarpons was suspended in the fourth inning and will resume in Daytona Beach on Tuesday, September 6. (Aldrin Capulong)
July 17, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. — Even Sunday's series finale could not escape Mother Nature's grasp. Game two of the doubleheader was suspended in the bottom of the fourth, with a runner at first and one out, due to rain. LF Christopher Familia smashed a walk-off, two-run home run in the opener, as

TAMPA, Fla. — Even Sunday's series finale could not escape Mother Nature's grasp. Game two of the doubleheader was suspended in the bottom of the fourth, with a runner at first and one out, due to rain. LF Christopher Familia smashed a walk-off, two-run home run in the opener, as the Tampa Tarpons tripped up the Daytona Tortugas, 5-3, in seven innings at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The suspended finale will resume in Daytona Beach when the Tarpons come to Jackie Robinson Ballpark starting on Tuesday, September 6, for the final series of the regular season. CF Madison Santos (0-0, BB) will be the batter with 2B Ben Cowles (1-1, BB) at first base and one out in the bottom of the fourth in a scoreless game.

Tampa will remain as the home team and both sides will complete the seven-inning game with another seven-inning contest to follow approximately 35 minutes after its conclusion. A start time for that twinbill has yet to be determined.

Sunday's lid-lifter was scoreless until the Tarpons (13-6, 40-45) broke up the shutout in the bottom of the third. With one out in the inning, DH Alexander Vargas (1-2, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB, SO) collected a walk to start a rally and moved to second when 3B Marcos Cabrera (0-3, 3 SO) was hit by a pitch. 1B Anthony García (1-4, RBI, SO) followed with an RBI single to right, giving Tampa a 1-0 lead.

Vargas was at the forefront again for the Yankees' affiliate when they struck again in the fifth. On a 2-0 pitch to start the frame, the switch-hitter pummeled a towering drive around the right-field foul pole for a solo home run. Vargas' second home run of the series — and sixth of the year — doubled Tampa's advantage to 2-0.

In the sixth, Daytona (7-13, 36-49) responded. After being limited to one hit through the first five innings, LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, R, SO) and CF Fidel Castro (1-2, R, SO) reached on consecutive singles to ignite a rally.

Trailing a fly out to left, SS Steven Leyton (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO) unleashed his power. The León, Nicaragua native drove an offering to the top of the Planet Fitness Judgement Free Zone group area beyond the left-field wall. Leyton's career-high seventh home run of the season propelled the Tortugas in front, 3-2.

The lead did not last, though. SS Ben Cowles (1-2, R, BB) started the home sixth with a single and promptly stole second base before taking third on a wild pitch. Still at third with two out, 2B Luis Santos (1-3, RBI, SO) slapped a run-scoring base hit to left, knotting the game at three.

Daytona stranded a runner aboard in the seventh before Tampa ended the opener with a thud. C Antonio Gómez (3-4, R, SO) poked a one-out single to center, setting the stage for Familia (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO).

In just his second game after being added to the roster from the Florida Complex League, the 22-year-old sent a majestic, 441-foot blast to the roof of the Outfield Bar in straightaway right field. Familia's walk-off two-run blast was his first with the Tarpons, providing the home with a 5-3 victory.

The walk-off defeat was Daytona's eighth of the season and their first since June 30 at Palm Beach.

Neither starter received a decision on Sunday. RHP Javi Rivera (3.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 5 SO) punched out five over three innings for the Tortugas, while Tarpons' RHP Chandler Champlain (6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 11 SO) whiffed a career-high 11 hitters.

RHP Jack Neely (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO) hurled a scoreless seventh inning in relief for Tampa, collecting his third victory of the season.

Daytona's RHP Dennis Boatman (1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO) was charged with a blown save and his sixth defeat in 2022.

Game two featured very little offense before the game was put on hold.

The best opportunity for runs came in Tampa's half of the second inning. The Tarpons loaded the bases with nobody out on back-to-back singles from DH Antonio Gómez (1-2) and Cowles, while Santos coaxed a walk.

RHP Chase Petty (2.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 SO) hunkered down and registered a pair of swinging strikeouts, as well as a fielder's choice ground ball to third to escape the inning unscathed.

The 19-year-old would depart the game with the bases empty and two out in the bottom of the third with an apparent illness. LHP Jayvien Sandridge (0.2 IP, BB, SO) recorded the last two defensive outs for Daytona before the game was suspended.

RHP Richard Fitts (4.0 IP, BB, 3 SO) tallied four shutout and hitless innings starting for Tampa in game two.

After the All-Star Break, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday, July 22, to open up a three-game series against the Palm Beach Cardinals, the Florida State League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. It will be

Margaritaville Night at the ballpark featuring Best Dressed Uniforms worn by Daytona's players and coaches that will be auctioned off throughout the rest of the season. There will also be special food and drink items at concession stands to mark the occasion. Prior to the first pitch, fans will also be able to enjoy Live Music from Mike and Vin on the third-base riverwalk. Friday Night Happy Hour comes back to the ballpark, too, with special discounts on select draft beers at the concession stands.

Neither squad has announced a probable for Friday's series opener. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172

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.