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Tortugas Strike Early, Often in 12-2 Evisceration of Hammerheads

September 11, 2021 - Low-A Southeast League (Low-A Southeast) - Daytona Tortugas News Release

JUPITER, Fla. - After being held to just two runs on 11 hits the previous two nights, the Tortugas' offense broke out in a big way on Saturday. Daytona sent all nine hitters to the plate in two separate frames - including a five-run first - in a 12-2 throttling of the Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Daytona (56-57) dominated from the get-go, as their first five batters of the game reached base safely.

C Daniel Vellojín (3-6, 3 R, 2 RBI, SO) started with a single to right and, on a hit-and-run, moved to third on a base hit through the hole on the right side from 2B Brandon Leyton (1-5, R, RBI). With men at the corners, the 'Tugas attempted another hit-and-run with success, as SS José Torres (3-6, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SO) stung an RBI single to right to go in front, 1-0. 3B Rece Hinds (3-5, R, 3 RBI, BB, SO) kept the attack going with a tally-creating knock of his own to right-center.

Ahead 2-0, DH Garrett Wolforth (1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SO) dug in and drove a high fly ball out to deep left field. The left fielder traced the ball back to the fence, but could not make the leaping grab. Wolforth's shot crept over the wall for a three-run home run - his seventh with Daytona - to stretch the early lead to 5-0.

By the end of the first, Daytona had sent all nine batters to the plate and captured five runs on five hits.

An inning later, the offense was back on the attack. Vellojín ignited the frame with another hit and came around all the way from first to score on a triple to center by Torres. Hinds followed with a run-producing ground out to short, granting the Tortugas a 7-0 advantage.

Jupiter (60-51) picked up their first run in the home second. CF Victor Mesa Jr. (1-2, R, 2B) doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and - after a plunking of DH Paul McIntosh (0-3, 3 SO) - scored on a double-play grounder. Daytona quickly retaliated in the third, going back up seven on an RBI ground out to first from Vellojín.

The Tortugas put the game to rest with another outburst in the fifth. Daytona received a pair of walks to 1B Ruben Ibarra (1-3, 2 R, 2 BB) and RF Ashton Creal (1-2, R, 3 BB) to start the inning before LF Gus Steiger (1-3, R, RBI, 2 BB) ripped a run-scoring single to left.

Vellojín added an RBI knock of his own to center and Leyton subsequently drove in a tally with a sacrifice fly to left. Hinds capped the nine-batter, four-run, four-hit frame with a base hit to left to drive in Vellojín, putting the Tortugas comfortably ahead, 12-1.

RF-CF Osiris Johnson (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) added one last run to Jupiter's ledger in the ninth, leading off with a solo home run around the left-field pole for his third with the Hammerheads.

In addition to outstanding offense, Daytona's performance on the hill was superb, as well. RHP José Franco (4.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 5 SO) yielded one run over 4.0 innings in a no-decision, while RHP Nick Hanson (4.0 IP, 3 H, SO) hurled a career-high 4.0 unblemished frames of relief to earn his third victory.

Jupiter's RHP Jesse Bergin (2.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, SO) struggled on the night. The former UCLA Bruin permitted eight runs over 2.1 innings and was saddled with his second loss.

Daytona will attempt to earn a series split in the finale on Sunday afternoon. RHP Ryan Cardona (1-1, 9.00) - Cincinnati's 19th-round selection in July, who earned his first professional win in relief on Wednesday - is expected to take the hill for the Tortugas. The Hammerheads are scheduled to counter with Tuesday's starter, RHP Evan Fitterer (0-1, 5.82). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and at 11:45 a.m. leading up to the 12:00 p.m. first pitch from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

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