Vellojín's offense, defense vault Daytona to fourth-straight win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Looking for their fourth-straight victory, C Daniel Vellojín proved to be a force of nature. The 21-year-old reached base four times, drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth, and threw out a base stealer to end it in the ninth, as the Daytona Tortugas topped
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Looking for their fourth-straight victory, C Daniel Vellojín proved to be a force of nature. The 21-year-old reached base four times, drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth, and threw out a base stealer to end it in the ninth, as the Daytona Tortugas topped the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 3-2, in front of 956 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night.
Tied at two, Daytona (52-52) had nobody on base and two out before the tide turned. 1B Ruben Ibarra (0-2, 2 BB, 2 SO) and LF Leo Seminati (2-3, RBI, BB) reached on consecutive walks to start the onslaught before a fielding error off the bat of RF Gus Steiger (0-4, 2 SO) loaded the bases.
On a 3-1 pitch, Vellojín (2-3, R, RBI, 2 BB) took an offering up and away for ball four. Michael Trautwein (0-0, R) — who came into pinch-run with Ibarra at second — scored on the bases-full walk to put the Tortugas in front, 3-2.
RHP Manuel Cachutt (3.0 IP, 3 H, 5 SO) — who had already thrown 2.0 scoreless innings of relief — stayed on for Daytona in the top of the ninth. After striking out the first two batters looking, RF Willie Joe Garry Jr. (1-4, 2 SO) poked a first-pitch single to right field.
On the first offering to DH Alerick Soularie (1-4, R, 2B), Garry Jr. broke for second base. Vellojín's transfer and toss to second were flawless, as the speedy outfielder was tagged out by 2B Brandon Leyton to end the game.
For the second-straight night, the 'Tugas scratched a run across in the first. Vellojín walked to start the game and stole second before advancing to third on a DH José Torres (1-4, 2 SO) single.
With runners at first and third and one out, SS Elly De La Cruz (1-3, RBI, BB, SO) hit a soft grounder to the right side of the infield. Thanks to defensive miscommunication and the 19-year-old's blazing speed, the throw to first was late. That allowed Vellojín to score, giving Daytona a 1-0 advantage.
Fort Myers (50-50) jumped in front for the first time in the series in the third. Soularie began the frame with a double down the left-field line and, two batters later, 1B Christian Encarnación-Strand (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO) punched an 0-2 pitch beyond the fence in right for a two-run home run. His third professional long ball staked the Mighty Mussels to a 2-1 lead.
Daytona finally tied the score in the sixth. Leyton (1-4, R, 3 SO) started the rally with a single to center and advanced to second on a walk to Ibarra. Seminati would deposit the next delivery into center field for an RBI single to knot the contest up at two.
The Tortugas' pitching staff was on point again. After recording 18 strikeouts in the series-opener on Tuesday, Daytona racked up 16 more punchouts on Wednesday night.
LHP Andrew Abbott (3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 6 SO) struck out a career-high six over a career-long 3.0 innings of work in a no-decision. Making his Tortugas debut, RHP Thomas Farr (3.0 IP, H, 5 SO) punched out five over 3.0 spotless frames out of the bullpen. Cachutt whiffed a season-high-tying five and earned his third win of the season.
Making his first start of the season, RHP Matthew Swain (3.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) took a no-decision tied a season-best with six strikeouts in a season-high-matching 3.0 innings of work for Fort Myers. RHP Zaquiel Puentes (2.0 IP, R, 3 BB, 4 SO) did not allow a hit but permitted the go-ahead run to score, suffering his second defeat.
The series continues as the biggest party in Central Florida returns to the oldest ballpark in Minor League Baseball courtesy of a Thirsty Thursday presented by Bud Light. All those in attendance can beat the heat with fountain drinks and draft beers starting at as low as $1.
RHP Ryan Cardona (NR) — Cincinnati's 19th-round pick this July out of Marist College — is expected to make his Tortugas debut in game three of the series. The Mighty Mussels are scheduled to counter with RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.45). 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.
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.