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Tarpons win third straight, beat Mets 6-2

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

Tampa Tarpons with a big swing
Tampa Tarpons with a big swing
(Tampa Tarpons, Credit: Cliff Welch)

TAMPA, Fla. - Between some solid pitching and a couple long balls, the Tampa Tarpons (17-21) bested the St. Lucie Mets (26-13) on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-2.

It was the third victory in a row for the Tarpons, who split this series with the Mets at three apiece. After dropping the first three games of the six-game set, the Tarpons were able to make some necessary adjustments to even things out.

RHP Josue Panacual (1-2) received the starting nod for the Tarpons and delivered one of his best performances of the season. Panacual went a season high 6.0 innings pitched, striking out six batters while allowing only 1ER spread over six hits and two walks. The effort was good enough to earn him his first win of the season.

The only run Panacual surrendered was self-inflicted in the top of the first inning. Alex Ramirez and Omar De Los Santos hit back-to-back singles to lead off the game, and William Lugo moved them into scoring position on a ground ball to SS Alexander Vargas. With two outs, Panacual spiked a wild pitch in the dirt that got past C Antonio Gomez, scoring Ramirez to give the Mets a 1-0 advantage.

The Tarpons were held scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning, when DH Connor Cannon smoked his first home run of the season off Mets' reliever Joshua Cornielly (2-2). Vargas singled on a ground ball to short with two outs, and CF Jasson Dominguez continued to stay red-hot with a two-run blast to deep right-center field. Next thing you know, Tarpons lead 3-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, RF Raimfer Salinas came around to score after drawing a lead-off walk. Vargas reached on a fielding error by William Lugo at first base which allowed Salinas to cross the plate. De Los Santos was quick to field the ball and threw out Vargas who tried stretching it an extra base.

The last bit of damage came off the bat of 3B Marcos Cabrera in the eighth inning. After 1B Anthony Garcia was awarded a full-count free pass, Cabrera skied a no doubter way beyond the left field boundary for his sixth home run of the season.

The bullpen kept the Mets in check after manager Rachel Balkovec pulled Panacual. RHP Bailey Dees struck out two batters in the seventh and LHP Ryan Anderson struck out another in the eighth.

RHP Harold Cortijo was tasked with shutting the door in the ninth and was successful. The Mets made it interesting, scoring an additional run off Ramirez' RBI-single with two outs. With two runners on, De Los Santos went down swinging to end the game.

The Tarpons return to action Tuesday night when they play host to the Lakeland Flying Tigers in a six-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM EST, with RHP Tyrone Yulie is scheduled to make the start.

Images from this story

Tampa Tarpons pitcher Josue Panacual
Tampa Tarpons pitcher Josue Panacual

(Cliff Welch)
Tampa Tarpons with a big swing
Tampa Tarpons with a big swing

(Cliff Welch)

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