Hendrick's homer powers Daytona to 4-1 licking of Lakeland
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - RF Austin Hendrick wasted no time jumpstarting the party for Independence Day Weekend. The 2020 first-round pick clobbered a three-run home run in the first, as the Daytona Tortugas captured a series victory with a 4-1 win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers in front of 1,878
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - RF Austin Hendrick wasted no time jumpstarting the party for Independence Day Weekend. The 2020 first-round pick clobbered a three-run home run in the first, as the Daytona Tortugas captured a series victory with a 4-1 win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers in front of 1,878 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night.
2B Brandon Leyton (1-4, R) banged the second pitch of the opening frame for a single to left-center and, two batters later, DH Garrett Wolforth (2-3, 2 R, 2B, BB) found a crevasse in shallow left for a knock of his own.
With two on and one out, Hendrick (2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO) flipped the first offering he saw off the netting of the batting cages beyond the fence in left. The 20-year-old’s second home run of the season catapulted Daytona (24-28) to an early, 3-0, advantage.
In the third, the top of the order capitalized again. Wolforth rifled a one-out double into left and Hendrick followed with a rocket single into right. After being held at third on the sharp line drive, the Nova Southeastern alum eventually scored on the play, as the throw back to the infield was wild. The throwing error put the Tortugas up 4-0.
Lakeland (16-34) finally scratched a run across in the sixth. After being no-hit through five innings, 1B Jimmy Kerr (0-2, R, 2 BB, 2 SO) reached with a one-out walk and LF Jake Holton (2-4) poked the Flying Tigers’ first hit into right, setting up runners at first and third. 3B Colt Keith (0-4, RBI, 3 SO) tapped a potential double-play grounder to short, but the 19-year-old beat the relay throw to first. Kerr scored on the fielder’s choice to pull the visitors within three, 4-1.
The Flying Tigers' best chance to draw even came in the eighth. After Kerr drew a two-out free pass, the ‘Tugas called upon RHP Stevie Branche (1.1 IP, H, 4 SO) out of the bullpen. Holton greeted him with a single, but that was all they could do against the fireballer. With the tying run at the plate, the 24-year-old struck out Keith to end the rally.
In the ninth, Branche re-emerged and slammed the door shut. The right-hander struck out the side in order in the final frame — dialing up a 99.4 mph fastball in the process — to close out the victory and his second save of the year.
Tortugas RHP James Marinan (5.0 IP, 4 BB, 6 SO) was untouchable on Friday night. The Boynton Beach, Fla. native did not yield a hit and scattered four walks en route to his first victory of the season.
RHP Carlos Guzmán (6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO) struggled early but retired the final eight batters he faced. However, the Lakeland starter was saddled with his fourth defeat.
The Tortugas’ Independence Day Homestand extravaganza continues on Saturday evening. During the game, fans will be able to bid in a silent auction set up on the concourse behind home plate with the proceeds going to support the family of wounded Daytona Beach police officer Jason Raynor.
RHP Frainger Aranguren (2-4, 3.62) is expected to make his first start of his professional career, as the ‘Tugas will go for their fifth-straight win on Saturday. Lakeland projects to counter with LHP Jack O’Loughlin (0-0, 0.00), making his maiden start in Low-A Southeast. Gates open at 6 p.m., while coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:50 p.m. The first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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 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.