Clearwater Swept After Loss in Extras
CLEARWATER-- For the second straight game, the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Clearwater Threshers needed extras to decide a winner.
In game three of the series, the Flying Tigers (10-6) topped the Threshers (3-13) by a 4-2 final in 11 innings.
Lakeland led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth. After Justin Parr grounded out to lead off the inning, Aaron Altherr stepped in and singled to center.
Altherr advanced to second on a wild pitch. Harold Martinez grounded out to second, moving the runner to third with two outs.
Art Charles came to the plate with the Threshers down two with one out to go against Guido Knudson, who had not allowed a run all season.
Charles kept the inning alive with an infield single that also drove in Clearwater's first run to make it 2-1.
The Threshers still had their backs against the wall, though. Willie Carmona became Clearwater's last chance against Knudson and he singled off the second base bag to put runners at the corners with two outs.
Logan Moore, who was 0-for-3 before his at-bat in the ninth, then singled through the right side to tie the game at two. For the second straight game, the Threshers had erased a multi-run deficit.
The score remained tied at two until the 11th. Chris Burgess came on in relief for Clearwater and allowed a lead-off single to Jeff McVaney, who hit his first homerun earlier in the ballgame.
After Burgess got Jeff Holm to fly out, Connor Harrell singled to put runners at first and second with one down. James Robbins then delivered with an RBI single to center that drove home McVaney to give Lakeland the lead.
On the Robbins single, the ball went under the glove of Altherr to allow each runner to move up 90-feet.
Drew Longley, who was making his first start of the series, stepped in with the bases loaded and two outs after an intentional walk. Longley singled to right to give Lakeland an important insurance run to make the score 4-2.
Josh Turley (1-0) worked a scoreless 10th and 11th inning to capture his first win of the season, while Chris Burgess (0-1) was charged with the loss.
Both starters did not factor in the decision. Ethan Stewart got the call for Clearwater and went seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs - one earned - while striking out a season-high seven and walking one.
Edgar De La Rosa started for Lakeland and went eight strong innings of one-hit baseball without allowing a run. De La Rosa walked four and struck out three.
The Threshers return to the field Monday as they host the Daytona Cubs. First pitch from Bright House Field is set for 7:00 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on www.threshersbaseball.com.
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