Three homers ignite Tortugas to two-hit victory over Tigers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After an 11-run defeat on Tuesday night, the Tortugas flipped the script 24 hours later. Daytona blasted three solo home runs, while RHPs Sam Benschoter, Andrew Moore, Alberto Gonzalez III, and Luis Mey combined on a two-hitter in a 7-1 rout of the Lakeland Flying Tigers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After an 11-run defeat on Tuesday night, the Tortugas flipped the script 24 hours later. Daytona blasted three solo home runs, while RHPs Sam Benschoter, Andrew Moore, Alberto Gonzalez III, and Luis Mey combined on a two-hitter in a 7-1 rout of the Lakeland Flying Tigers in front of 1,059 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday evening.
For the second-straight day, things began with a sour taste. With the bases empty and two out in the top of the second, 3B Adinso Reyes (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) hit a line drive that cleared the right-field fence for a solo home run. The infielder's first blast since joining the Flying Tigers (17-19, 49-53) last Tuesday put the visitors ahead, 1-0.
In the bottom of the third, it was Daytona's (11-25, 40-61) turn for a rebuttal. 3B Austin Callahan (2-4, R, HR, RBI, 2 SO) powered a 1-2 offering beyond the left-center field wall for a solo shot of his own. The 21-year-old's second home run in as many days and his fourth in as many home contests knotted the game at one.
It remained even until the 'Tugas utilized the gopher ball once more in the fifth. After falling behind with two strikes to lead off the frame, 1B Yassel Pino (1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO) snapped an 0-for-23 drought with a home run that squeaked out to the right of the videoboard in left-center field. The Cuban-born first baseman's second homer of the year — both against Lakeland — put Daytona ahead, 2-1.
C Hayden Jones (3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) decided to join in on the fun in the seventh. After making a marvelous throw to complete a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play to end the top of the frame, the Huntertown, Ind. native wallopped the second pitch of the bottom half beyond the auxiliary parking lot in right. Jones' team-high-tying eighth home run of the campaign doubled the lead to two, 3-1.
The Tortugas' offense broke the game open with a crooked number in the eighth. After CF Jay Allen II (1-4, R) swiped second base with one man retired, LF Jack Rogers (0-3, R, BB, 2 SO) walked and Jones garnered an infield single to load the bases. 2B Johnny Ascanio (2-4, R, RBI) subsequently hit a high pop fly into shallow right. The ball knuckled in the swirling winds and landed safely between the second baseman and right fielder for a single. One run scored on the play, extending Daytona's cushion to 4-1.
Pino promptly added to the advantage by lacing a sacrifice fly to left, producing a four-run lead, 5-1. DH Wendell Marrero (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SO) capped the four-run inning with a two-RBI double off the base of the left-center field wall, providing the Tortugas a comfortable 7-1 differential.
In the top of the ninth, RHP Luis Mey (1.0 IP, 3 SO) dialed up 102 mph on the radar gun a pair of times and overwhelmed Lakeland's offense. The 21-year-old struck out the side in order to secure the Tortugas' win and snap their four-game losing streak.
Daytona's RHP Sam Benschoter (5.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 10 SO) continued his tremendous return from the injured list. The Michigan State University alum tied a career-best with five innings on the bump and produced a new career-high with 10 strikeouts, the highest total by a Tortugas pitcher this season, en route to his third victory. Benschoter punched out four batters in his final frame of work in the fifth after the leadoff batter reached on a dropped third strike wild pitch.
RHP Andrew Moore (1.0 IP, BB) followed and made his team debut. The Reds' No. 28 prospect per Baseball America worked around a hit batter and a walk to hurl a scoreless frame. RHP Alberto Gonzalez III (2.0 IP, 2 BB, 3 SO) added two hitless innings to bridge the gap to Mey.
Despite setting a new career-high in innings pitched (6.0), RHP Jackson Jobe (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 SO) was saddled with his fifth defeat for the Flying Tigers.
The biggest party in Central Florida returns to the World’s Most Famous Beach when the series resumes 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.
RHP Ryan Cardona (4-3, 3.83) is projected to take the hill for Daytona in game three of the series. Lakeland is scheduled to counter with RHP Garrett Burhenn (4-5, 3.59), Detroit's No. 29 prospect according to Baseball America. 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.
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.