Lakeland's Rodriguez Limits Florida, 3-1
KISSIMMEE, FLA.: RHP Elvin Rodriguez set down the first 12 Florida batters he faced and early offense from the Lakeland Flying Tigers held up in a 3-1 victory over the Fire Frogs on Saturday night at Osceola County Stadium.
A fielding error in the first from second baseman Jordan Rodgers enabled A.J. Simcox to reach. He would score later in the stanza on a Chad Sedio single off RHP Freddy Tarnok. After a single from Nick Ames, Jon Rosoff drove in the second run with a knock for a 2-0 Lakeland edge.
Back-to-back doubles from Reece Hampton and Brock Deatherage scratched across another tally in the second for a 3-0 margin.
Tarnok (2-7) would settle in and retire 12 of the last 14 Flying Tigers he faced, plowing through 5 and 2/3's innings of three run baseball (one earned) while allowing six hits a walk, racking up six punchouts, and absorbing the loss.
RHP Troy Bacon relieved Tarnok in the sixth and proceeded to set down four straight hitters out of the Fire Frogs bullpen.
Zack Soria got the Fire Frogs on the board in the bottom of the eighth, slamming his second homer over the fence in left to cut the deficit to 3-1.
That was the only tally Rodriguez (10-7) would allow across 7 and 1/3's frames, yielding just four hits and fanning five to earn the win. It was his second-longest outing of the season and the first time in his last five starts that he has given up less than four earned runs.
Lakeland put two runners in scoring position in the eighth and ninth with less than two outs but couldn't score. RHP Brandon White made sure the Flying Tigers couldn't add on, striking out four and working around four hits and a hit-batsman.
The Fire Frogs brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth and ninth, but RHP Will Vest retired five out of six hitters to pick up his third save.
Hampton and Sedio went 2-4, each scoring a run for the Flying Tigers. Ames also swatted 2-4 and has five hits in the series. Jordan Pearce climbed aboard twice.
Garrison Schwartz extended his on-base streak to four with a base hit in the sixth.
NEXT UP: RHP Matt Hartman (2-5, 5.21) will try to help the Fire Frogs split the four-game series on Sunday at noon. RHP Tom de Blok (0-11, 4.45) takes the mound for the Flying Tigers.
Sundays are for barbecue lovers at Osceola County Stadium. Enjoy a box that contains healthy portions of pulled pork, brisket, smoked sausage, and garlic toast for $15. All tickets to the game are just $5!
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