Daytona dances past Palm Beach in extras, 3-2
JUPITER, Fla. — Trailing 1-0 entering the sixth and 2-1 going into the eighth, the Tortugas stormed back. SS Gus Steiger crossed the dish on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th and Daytona never looked back, toppling the Palm Beach Cardinals, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Roger
JUPITER, Fla. — Trailing 1-0 entering the sixth and 2-1 going into the eighth, the Tortugas stormed back. SS Gus Steiger crossed the dish on a wild pitch in the top of the 10th and Daytona never looked back, toppling the Palm Beach Cardinals, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
In a scoreless contest through four and a half frames, Palm Beach (1-3) was finally able to crack the scoreboard in their turn at the dish in the fifth. 2B Ramon Mendoza (2-3, 2 R, 2B) started a rally with a single to left, but things quieted down following a pair of strikeouts. With 3B-1B Osvaldo Tovalin (1-4, BB, SO) at the plate, an errant pickoff throw to first allowed Mendoza to scoot around to third. A passed ball on the next pitch allowed him to score, putting the Cardinals ahead 1-0.
A trend that would continue throughout the night, Daytona (2-2) immediately answered in their next trip to the plate. RF Austin Hendrick (0-3, R, 2 BB, 2 SO) and CF Jay Allen II (1-4, R, BB, 2 SO) earned walks to start the inning, while the former advanced to third on a fly ball to right. With two retired after a strikeout, LF Yerlin Confidan (3-4, RBI, SO) stung a ground ball back through the middle into center field for a hit. Hendrick scored easily on the knock to tie the game at one.
The Cardinals snuck back in front in the seventh. After Mendoza ignited the frame with a double into the gap in left-center field, LF Tyler Reichenborn (1-3, 2B, SO) sacrificed the runner to third with a bunt and SS Jeremy Rivas (2-4, RBI, 2 SO) scored him with a sacrifice fly to center.
Trailing 2-1, Allen II used his speed and athleticism in the eighth to turn the tide of the contest. The 19-year-old reached on a bunt single to third with one out and immediately swiped second base. A ground out to second advanced Allen to third with 1B Ruben Ibarra (0-4, 2 SO) set to bat. On the first pitch of the plate appearance, a ball in the dirt squirted behind the catcher but never left the dirt of the batter's circle. The Fort Pierce, Fla. native made a tremendous read and was able to slide in with the tying run before a throw could be made.
Palm Beach had a great opportunity to win the contest in their half of the ninth inning, but RHP Ryan Cardona (2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 SO) made big pitches to escape. The Redbirds saturated the bases with one out, but the 21-year-old struck out a man swinging and induced a ground out to second to keep the game even at two into extra frames.
Starting the inning as the automatic runner at second base, Steiger (0-4, R, SO) quickly moved to third, as the initial toss of the frame darted towards the backstop. Now at third, the Spring Park, Minn. native watched as the second offering did the same. Steiger crossed home without a throw to put Daytona in front for the first time, 3-2.
2B Sebastian Almonte (2-4, 3B) promptly tripled to right-center, while Hendrick subsequently walked, however, a nice running grab in shallow right and a hard-hit double-play ground ball limited the Tortugas' cushion to one.
RHP Dennis Boatman (1.0 IP, 2 K) emerged from the bullpen to try and close out the victory in the bottom of the 10th. The Sacramento City College alum produced a fielder's choice ground out to short, erasing the automatic runner trying to advance, and followed with a pair of swinging strikeouts to close out the win plus his first professional save.
Cardona garnered the victory — his first of the season — in relief for Daytona, while RHP Roy Garcia (2.1 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 3 SO) suffered his first defeat and blown save for Palm Beach.
Both starters were excellent despite not factoring into Tuesday's decision. 2021 eighth-round selection RHP Hunter Parks (4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 SO) scattered five hits and punched out six for the Tortugas, while fourth-round pick RHP Zane Mills (5.0 IP, 3 H, BB, 6 SO) tossed five scoreless for the Cardinals.
Daytona will look to stretch their winning streak to three on Wednesday evening, as RHP Tanner Cooper (NR) is expected to toe the slab for the first time this season. Palm Beach is projected to counter with RHP José Moreno (0-0, 0.00). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network and www.daytonatortugas.com will begin at 6:15 p.m. ET from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, leading up to the first pitch at 6:30.
After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, April 19, to open up a series against the Bradenton Marauders, the Florida State League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It will be the first Breast Cancer Awareness Night of the season presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don special pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. It is also the first Silver Sluggers Night of the campaign presented by Conviva, featuring special team store, concession stand deals for members, and more. The series opener also marks the return of Taco Tuesday to Daytona Beach with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
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.