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Tarpons cruise past Mets 15-3 in series opener

Vargas goes 2 for 4 with walk and RBI in loss
August 31, 2023

TAMPA, Fla. (August 31, 2023) – After Hurricane Idalia cancelled the first two game of the series between the St. Lucie Mets and Tampa Tarpons at Steinbrenner Field, the teams were finally able to get their series underway on Thursday. The Tarpons won in a rout, 15-3. The Tarpons slugged

TAMPA, Fla. (August 31, 2023) – After Hurricane Idalia cancelled the first two game of the series between the St. Lucie Mets and Tampa Tarpons at Steinbrenner Field, the teams were finally able to get their series underway on Thursday. The Tarpons won in a rout, 15-3.

The Tarpons slugged three home runs, one triple and one double. They drew nine walks and were plunked by two pitches.

The Mets did jump out to an early lead when Wilfredo Lara hit a two-out RBI single in the first innings. But the Tarpons countered with three runs in the home first. Jackson Castillo hit a run-scoring ground out to tie the game 1-1, then Omar Martinez and Josh Moylan crushed back-to-back homers off Jonah Tong to make it 3-1.

Roc Riggio made it 4-1 with a RBI double in the third. Tong walked the next two batters and was replaced by Elliot Johnstone. Johnstone struck out the first batter but then surrendered a three-run homer to Kiko Romero that made it 7-1. Johnstone retired the other nine batters he faced in the relief appearance.

The Mets got a couple runs back in the fifth inning on a RBI ground out by Marco Vargas and RBI sac fly by Nick Morabito to cut the deficit to 7-3.

The Tarpons blew the game open with a five-run sixth inning against Omar Victorino. Victorino walked or hit the first three batters to load the bases. The fourth batter, Nelson Medina, bashed a three-run triple for a 10-3 Tarpons lead. After another walk and a RBI single, Victorino was removed. The Tarpons tacked on a run in the inning on a RBI ground out.

The Tarpons scored two in the seventh on an error and a RBI single by Tayler Aguilar. Romero capped the scoring with a RBI ground out in the eighth.

Tong took the loss for the Mets. He was charged with six runs (four earned) over 2.1 innings.

Tampa starter Jackson Fristoe held the Mets to one run over 3.2 innings in his team debut. He walked one and struck out six in the no-decision.

Montana Semmel pitched 2.1 innings behind Fristoe to get the win.

Vargas went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, a walk and a RBI from the leadoff spot.

Kellum Clark was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. His double was the only extra base hit for the Mets.

The Mets (40-80, 16-39) and Tarpons (58-63, 27-28) play the second game of their series at Steinbrenner Field on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.