June 15, 2017 - Florida State League (FSL) - Tampa Yankees
BRADENTON, Fla. - The Tampa Yankees (35-31) combined to outscore the Bradenton Marauders (36-27) by 14 runs in a pair of victories, 11-1 and 5-1, as a thunderstorm avoided LECOM Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the first-place Clearwater Threshers fell at home in both ends of a doubleheader versus the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 5-1 and 1-0, and opened the door for the Yankees to pull even in the North Division standings.
The T-Yanks did just that.
A six-run second inning propelled Tampa to its win in game one. Bradenton starter Gage Hinsz walked Nick Solak and Gosuke Katoh to open the frame. Solak then scored as Kyle Holder reached second on a bunt single and a throwing error by third baseman Mitchell Tolman . Francisco Diaz followed with an RBI infield single.
After walking Austin Aune, Hinsz struck out the next two batters before RHP Sam Street entered in relief. Tito Polo greeted the new arm with a bases-clearing double into the left field corner. Trey Amburgey followed with an RBI single for a 6-0 lead.
Hinsz (L, 2-5) surrendered five earned runs on three hits in an inning and two thirds, walking three while striking out three. The 21-year-old threw 29 of 56 pitches for strike in his shortest outing since April 21st (1.1IP vs. Jupiter).
Logan Hill put the Marauders on the board with a first-pitch home run off RHP Taylor Widener in the bottom of the second, tying the Florida State League lead with his 15th.
Widener bounced back with two scoreless frames in a no-decision. The 22-year-old allowed one earned run on three hits in four innings, walking two while striking out six and throwing 43 of 75 pitches for strikes.
Tampa tacked on three more runs off Street in the fourth. Jorge Mateo lined a leadoff double into left-centerfield and Jeff Hendrix drew a walk before both advanced on a wild pitch. Mateo scored on a groundout by Polo. One out later, Hendrix crossed the plate as Solak reached on an error by shortstop Alfredo Reyes . Katoh and Holder followed with back-to-back, two-out RBI singles for a 9-1 advantage.
Amburgey pulled a leadoff single into left field off RHP Yunior Montero in the sixth and Solak capped the scoring by blasting a two-run home run over the left field wall.
LHP Stephen Tarpley (W, 1-0) made his second appearance of the season and scattered a pair of walks while striking out three in two shutout relief innings. LHP James Reeves stranded a pair of hits and a hit-batter in a scoreless seventh.
In game two, the T-Yanks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with some timely hitting against LHP Taylor Hearn . Mateo began the game with a single into center and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Holder. One out later, Amburgey drew a walk and both runners scored on a two-out RBI double into the left field corner by Solak.
The Yankees added a run in the fourth when Hendrix drew a leadoff walk, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out by Jhalan Jackson before scoring on a wild pitch.
Hearn (L, 4-5) allowed three earned runs on three hits in four innings, tying a season-high with four walks while striking out five and throwing 52 of 86 pitches for strikes.
RHP Brody Koerner (W, 2-1) worked at a Mark Buehrle type pace, not giving Bradenton much time between pitches. The 23-year-old tossed his first-career complete game, holding the Marauders to one earned run on six hits in seven innings. Koerner tallied four strikeouts, one walk and threw 54 of 79 pitches for strikes.
Tampa added insurance off RHP Brandon Cumpton in the top of the seventh. Sharif Othman singled and advanced to third when Tim Lynch ripped a ground-rule double down the right field line in his first at-bat as a Tampa Yankee. A walk by Holder loaded the base before back-to-back RBI singles by Polo and Amburgey doubled the lead.
Polo (G1: 2-for-4, 3B, 2B, 4RBI; G2: 2-for-4, RBI) logged his first four-RBI game since 6/1/16 with Single-A West Virginia (vs. Lakewood). Solak (G1: 1-for-3, HR, BB, 2RBI, 3R; G2: 1-for-4, 2B, 2RBI) recorded a pair of multi-RBI games, including his third home run.
Rain continued to affect Kissimmee, Florida, where the doubleheader between the Daytona Tortugas (32-29) and Florida Fire Frogs was postponed. The teams plan on playing two games on Thursday, cutting the series to three. Sitting a half game back, the Tortugas now have six games remaining before the first-half comes to a close while Tampa and Clearwater have five games left.
The Yankees will look to complete a four-game sweep of the Marauders in the series finale on Thursday night at 6:30 in their finale game before the All-Star Break. LHP Ian Clarkin (3-3, 2.49 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Dario Agrazal (5-3, 3.03 ERA). Live audio will be available on the Tampa Yankees Radio Network beginning at 6:20 p.m.