'Tugas twirl three-hitter in Jackie Robinson Day triumph
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Projected to be an offensive juggernaut before the season, it has been the Tortugas’ pitching staff that has stolen the show. RHPs James Proctor, Nick Hanson, and Tanner Cooper struck out 13 St. Lucie hitters and combined on a three-hitter in Daytona’s 5-1 win over the
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Projected to be an offensive juggernaut before the season, it has been the Tortugas’ pitching staff that has stolen the show. RHPs James Proctor, Nick Hanson, and Tanner Cooper struck out 13 St. Lucie hitters and combined on a three-hitter in Daytona’s 5-1 win over the Mets in front of another sellout crowd of 1,141 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Not to be left out, it was the offense that enabled the staff to cruise by getting on the board yet. 2B Tyler Callihan (2-4, R, SO) started the home half of the first with a single to right and moved to third on consecutive groundouts. LF Alex McGarry (2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SO) would thwack a 2-0 offering over the left-center field fence on the bounce for a ground-rule double, putting the Tortugas (6-5) ahead, 1-0.
An inning later, CF Austin Hendrick (1-1, R, 2B, 3 BB) ignited the attack with an opposite-field two-bagger to left. RF Danny Lantigua (1-4, RBI, SO) followed with a run-scoring single to right, stretching the advantage to two. Daytona would add another in the frame thanks to a pair of errors.
The Mets (7-4) managed to scratch a run across in the top of the fourth, as C Francisco Álvarez (1-3, R, BB) singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, scooted to third on a ground out, before scoring on a passed ball.
Now leading 3-1, the ‘Tugas put the game away in the fifth and sixth.
With no one on and one out, McGarry dug in and — despite strong wind gusts blowing across the field from right — launched a rocket to the right side. The Vancouver, Wash. native’s blast would sail 407 feet over the fence to the pull side for a solo home run. McGarry’s team-high-tying third of the year, expanded the lead to three, 4-1.
Daytona capped the scoring in the sixth, as 1B Michel Triana (1-3, 2 R, BB, SO) collected an infield single and went station-to-station, eventually scoring courtesy of three separate wild pitches.
After 10 games to begin the year without a decision for the starting staff, Proctor (5.0 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 8 SO) was exquisite in his home debut. The St. Louis native punched out eight over five frames to garner his first professional win.
Hanson (1.0 IP) emerged to hurl a perfect sixth before handing the reigns to Cooper (3.0 IP, 5 SO). The 21-year-old whiffed five St. Lucie batters and did not issue a base-hit over three scoreless to accrue his first save of the campaign.
Mets RHP Joander Suárez (4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO) collected six strikeouts but suffered his first defeat of 2021.
The Tortugas cap off the six-game series on Sunday evening with the organization’s first Bark in the Park and Tiny ‘Tugas Night of the season. For just $2, fans can purchase a “pooch pass” so their four-legged friend can enjoy a nine-inning vacation of their own. All Tiny ‘Tuga members will be able to participate in activities during the contest. Gates are set to open at 4:30 p.m. with the first pitch scheduled for 5:35.
Daytona is projected to send RHP Carson Rudd (1-1, 1.80) to the hill for his first professional start. LHP Cam Opp (1-0, 1.42) is expected to make his second start of the year with St. Lucie after earning the win in relief on Tuesday night.
Season ticket, multi-game plans, group packages, and more 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 Low-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Low-A Southeast. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach. 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.