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Champlain dominates on the mound, Tarpons shut out Mets 5-0

May 22, 2022 - Florida State League (FSL) - Tampa Tarpons News Release

Tampa Tarpons in their Armed Forces Night jerseys
Tampa Tarpons in their Armed Forces Night jerseys
(Tampa Tarpons, Credit: Mark LoMoglio)

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (16-21) finished the job Sunday afternoon, swiftly defeating the St. Lucie Mets (26-12) in a continuation of Saturday's contest, 5-0.

The Tarpons, sporting custom camo jerseys for Armed Forces Night, were in complete control the entire game until play came to an abrupt stop. An unexpected power outage before the seventh inning forced the game to be postponed to the following afternoon.

RHP Chandler Champlain (1-2) drew the start for the Tarpons and took care of business. Champlain tossed five scoreless innings en route to his first win of the season, striking out a season-high nine batters. The Mets were left dazed at the plate, mustering up only two hits and two walks against the Tarpons' right-hander.

In back-to-back games, the Tarpons struck first in the home half of the first inning. SS Alexander Vargas drew a lead-off walk off Mets' starter RHP Jaison Vilera (0-2). Next up, CF Jasson Dominguez laced the very first pitch he saw down the line in right field into the corner. Vargas scored all the way from first and Dominguez ended up on second with an RBI-double.

Dominguez delivered for the Tarpons again in the second inning with a ground ball single past Mets' second baseman Junior Tilien. Khalil Lee was unable to field the ball cleanly in right field as 2B Luis Santos raced home to beat the throw to the plate.

The Tarpons kept the ball rolling in the bottom of the fourth to double their lead. LF Grant Richardson singled to right and C Ben Rice reached base safely on a fielding error by Tilien at second base. With two runners on and one out, RF Raimfer Salinas roped an RBI-double down the right field line to plate both Richardson and Rice.

Fast forward to the next day and bottom of the eighth, where Dominguez picked up where he left off. The fleet footed outfielder collected his third hit of the game - a triple to right field. Dominguez finished the game 3-for-4 (2B, 3B, 1R, 2RBI, 1BB).

With the infield shaded in, 1B Anthony Garcia drove the ball right up the middle for an RBI-single to score Dominguez. Garcia leads the Tarpons in RBIs, driving in 20 runs in 33 total games.

Manager Rachel Balkovec could not have asked for much more from her bullpen. RHP Kevin Milam struck out two batters in the sixth, and RHP Zach Messinger amassed five strikeouts over 2.2 innings pitched. RHP Trevor Holloway was asked to get the final out and was successful. The bullpen combined for four scoreless innings while allowing just one lone baserunner - a walk by Messinger.

The Tarpons and Mets square off Sunday afternoon for the final game of their six-game set. RHP Josue Panacual (0-2, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to make the start as the Tarpons look to split the series at three apiece.

Images from this story

Tampa Tarpons pitcher Chandler Champlain
Tampa Tarpons pitcher Chandler Champlain

(Mark LoMoglio)
Tampa Tarpons in their Armed Forces Night jerseys
Tampa Tarpons in their Armed Forces Night jerseys

(Mark LoMoglio)

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