Fire Frogs Thrash Threshers and Take Twin Bill, 5-2 and 3-0
CLEARWATER, FLA.: The Florida Fire Frogs used timely hitting and amazing pitching performances from LHP Philip Pfeifer and RHP Tristan Beck to secure a double header sweep from the Clearwater Threshers, 5-2 and 3-0, on Saturday evening at Spectrum Field.
With the wins, the Fire Frogs snapped a four-game losing streak and won their second road series of the year.
Game 1: Drew Lugbauer got the offense going with a solo blast to the left of the batter's eye off RHP Alejandro Requena in the second for a 1-0 edge. This was Drew's sixth homer in his last nine contests.
The Threshers battled back to tie the contest at 1 in the fourth. Three straight men reached with one out to bring up Luke Miller, who hit a sacrifice fly to right which scored Rodolfo Duran.
A four-run sixth gave the Fire Frogs the lead for good. Riley Delgado and CJ Alexander drew walks ahead of Trey Harris, who singled in Delgado for the first run. A wild pitch from Requena forced in Alexander and a subsequent walk to Lugbauer removed him from the game. Logan Brown grounded into a bases loaded fielder's choice versus RHP Austin Ross, pushing two runs across when a wayward throw from Threshers shortstop Nick Maton enabled Lugbauer along with Harris to score; 5-1 Florida.
Requena (6-7) surrendered five earned runs and six hits with eight strikeouts across five frames. Ross spun the final two innings, allowing just a hit and a walk.
Pfeifer (2-6) was steady throughout seven innings of work, yielding just six hits, two runs, a walk, and racking up seven punch outs in what was his first professional complete game.
Clearwater's Dalton Guthrie swatted a solo homer in the seventh with two outs, but it wasn't enough to start a rally.
Jhailyn Ortiz had the only multi-hit effort for the Threshers, going 2-3 at the dish.
Andrew Moritz picked up his eighth multi-hit game as a member of the Fire Frogs, swatting 2-4 and extending his on-base streak to nine consecutive games.
Game 2: Beck got into and out of trouble all night long, scattering six hits and stranding four Threshers on base. He threw 6 and 2/3's shutout stanzas of six-hit baseball and fanned eight. Beck (2-1) hasn't given up a run in 12 and 2/3's innings since returning to the Fire Frogs rotation last Saturday.
Florida backed him up with some clutch two-out offense in the fourth. Lugbauer slammed a double to the right-field corner with RHP Colton Eastman looking on. Kevin Josephina's base hit sent Lugbauer scrambling to the plate for a 1-0 lead. Two Eastman wild pitches with Zack Soria batting guided Josephina in to make it 2-0.
With the double, Lugbauer moved his hitting and on-base streaks to 7 and 12 games, respectively.
A two-out walk to Josephina doomed Eastman in the sixth. Soria smoked a two-bagger that scored Josephina from first to increase the Fire Frogs margin to 3-0.
Eastman (4-5) was tagged for three runs on four hits and three walks, mixing in four Ks while tossing six innings. RHP Andrew Brown turned in a scoreless seventh.
Josephina went 1-2 with a walk, touching up both times he climbed aboard. He has now reached base in 21 of his last 25 assignments. Soria also got on twice.
After Beck was pulled in the seventh, RHP Brandon White ran into some trouble. Madison Stokes coaxed a walk, Jack Conley recorded a knock, and Matt Kroon was plunked by a pitch to load the sacks. White finally got the out he needed, stranding the tying run on first by inducing a Danny Mayer popout to notch his fourth save and seal the victory.
Stokes stroked 2-2 at the plate with a walk and was the only Thresher to have multiple hits.
NEXT UP: LHP Hayden Deal (3-8, 2.98) is tasked with leading Florida to a series sweep of Clearwater on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm. RHP Spencer Howard (1-1, 1.88) will make his second start against the Fire Frogs this year on the opposite side.
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Florida State League Stories from July 13, 2019
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- Fire Frogs Thrash Threshers and Take Twin Bill, 5-2 and 3-0 - Florida Fire Frogs
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