June 14, 2017 - Florida State League (FSL) - Clearwater Threshers
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Clearwater was limited to just one run across 14 innings on Wednesday, falling 5-1 in game one and 1-0 in game two of a doubelheader against the Lakeland Flying Tigers at Spectrum Field.
Lakeland (28-34) capitalized on five Clearwater errors across the two games to plate the decisive runs. Five of the six runs allowed by Threshers pitching were unearned.
Jacob Waguespack proved the highlight of the afternoon for Clearwater, after hurling five innings of two-hit ball in the second game. Waguespack has been dominant since moving into the rotation on May 25, permitting only two runs total across 19 innings.
The Threshers (35-31) remain a half game up on Daytona in the FSL North and two up on Tampa, pending the outcomes of the evening's action. Clearwater has just four games left on the first half schedule.
Lakeland broke out in front with a pair of unearned runs in the third inning of game one, capitalizing on a pair of errors committed by Threshers starter Alberto Tirado (4-4).
After two walks opened the third, Ben Verlander put down a bunt back to Tirado, and the right-hander's throw to third sailed up the line to allow the first run to cross. The same scenario occurred on the following play, plating a second run.
The Flying Tigers broke it open in the fourth with three more runs on two hits and two errors. Tirado left after 3.1 innings and permitted five runs - one earned - on three hits and three walks, striking out three.
Ranfi Casimiro and Tyler Gilbert settled things down in relief, teaming up for 3.2 scoreless innings.
Sandy Baez held Clearwater scoreless until the seventh, when Deivi Grullon walked and Cord Sandberg ripped a double to the track in right-center. Baez (2-6) exited in favor of Mark Ecker, who allowed an inherited runner to cross on Jose Pujols ' sacrifice fly but finished it off to give Lakeland the victory.
Game two was a pitchers' duel between Waguespack and Kyle Funkhouser .
Waguespack permitted only three baserunners in five innings, scattering two singles and a walk. He struck out four in the no-decision, throwing 78 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Funkhouser (1-1) worked around runners in five of his seven innings, but went the distance for the seven-inning complete game shutout. He limited Clearwater to four hits and a walk in the 96-pitch effort.
The Threshers will try for the series split on Thursday, when they battle the Flying Tigers at 7 p.m. on Taps and Tacos Night. Edgar Garcia (1-2) will toe the rubber against Matt Hall (4-5), and the game will be broadcast live on threshersbaseball.com beginning at 6:45 p.m.