2 for Threshers, Clearwater Claims Series, 4-3
KISSIMMEE, FL: The Florida Fire Frogs surrendered two leads and dropped the middle game of a three-game series to the Clearwater Threshers, 4-3, on Tuesday evening at Osceola County Stadium.
Things started well for the home team. RHP Freddy Tarnok walked the bases loaded in the top of the first but was able to wiggle out of the frame unscathed when he forced Edgar Cabral to popout.
The offense answered by having the first three men reach in the bottom half. William Contreras doubled home Riley Unroe after his leadoff walk. A double from Greyson Jenista moved Contreras over to third, setting the stage for Jefrey Ramos to bring him in with a sacrifice fly and give Florida the early 2-0 lead.
The Threshers came back to tie the game with single tallies in the second and third. In the second, Nick Maton stayed hot by ripping an RBI single into center, scoring Jake Scheiner and bringing Clearwater within a run. A third inning solo blast from Madison Stokes tied the contest at two.
Tarnok worked four stanzas in his start, permitting two earned runs, three hits, three walks, and a home-run while adding a trio of strikeouts while not factoring in the decision.
The Fire Frogs snagged the lead back thanks to a leadoff double off the bat of Ramos. Drew Lugbauer moved him over to third on a ground-ball. Rusber Estrada's sacrifice fly gave Florida a 3-2 lead that they wouldn't have for long.
In the seventh, two costly errors put the tying run into scoring position and subsequently aided the Threshers in tying the game. Lugbauer misplayed a grounder hit towards him, and Isranel Wilson dropped a fly ball in left-center that kept the inning alive. Maton grabbed a base hit against RHP Brooks Wilson, knocking him out of the game. Simon Muzziotti singled off RHP Daysbel Hernandez to score Danny Mayer and even the game at three.
Mayer would later be the hero when he launched a ball well beyond the left-field fence off Hernandez to give the Threshers the lead in the ninth, a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Wilson was phenomenal in his Advanced-A debut, giving up an unearned run and two hits over 2 and 1/3 innings. Hernandez (2-1) struck out four but was saddled with the setback. LHP Jon Kennedy also recorded two outs out of the pen.
Top-tier Phillies prospect RHP Spencer Howard lasted through four innings of two-run ball, sidestepping four hits and two walks while collecting seven K's. RHP Grant Dyer yielded the run in the sixth. RHP Austin Ross (1-0) fanned four batters and got six straight outs without allowing a baserunner. LHP Jonathan Hennigan worked around a hit and earned his first save.
NEXT UP: The Fire Frogs will hope to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Threshers on Wednesday night. The game will begin at 6 p.m. with the first pitch.
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