In front of an intimate crowd over just over 500 fans New York Yankees top prospect Jorge Mateo lead the 2016 Tampa Yankees to an opening day victory over the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 9-2. Mateo who batted first and played shortstop was 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs for the T-Yanks. He had a triple and a walk.
Mateo lead off the game with a linedrive single to center, he then stole second baes and scored when Abiatal Avelino reached on a fielding error. After Avelino was caught stealing, third baseman Miguel Andujar hit his first homerun of the season on a fly ball to left-center field.
Vicente Campos got the start for the Yankees, he was touched for 2 runs in the game with the first coming in the bottom of the first inning when he gave up a 2-out homerun to Mike Gerber.
Santiago Nessy leadoff the top of the second inning for the Tampa Yankees with a flyball homerun to centerfield. The Flying Tigers would plate their second run in the bottom of the third inning. Campos walked Wade Hinkle and the rehabbing Cameron Maybin to put 2 runners on and then a walk allowed both runners to move up 90-feet. After a strike out, Vicente would commit a second balk to allow a run to score.
The Yankees managed to open up the game in the top of the fourth inning. Santiago Nessy started it off with double to centerfield, moved to third on a single by Zack Zehner and scored when Lakeland pitcher Endrys Brieeno threw a wild pitch. Zehner moved up to third on the play. Jorge Mateo and Abiatal Avelino then worked back-to-back walks to load the bases for Miguel Andujar. Andujar then grounded out softly to second base, allowing all the runners to move up and scoring Zack Zehner. Mateo would come home to score on a sacrifice fly by Mike Ford and then a single by Billy Fleming would bring home Avelino.
In the top of the fifth inning Tampa scored 2 more runs to give them a 9-2 lead over the Flying Tigers. Austin Aune started it off with a line drive single to right and then moved to second on a 1-out single to center by Zack Zehner. Both would score on a Jorge Mateo triple on a line drive to center.
Vicente Campos earned the win, he finished with 5 innings pitched allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, walking 3 and striking out 9 batters, 52 of the 83 pitches he threw were for strikes. He also was charged with 3 balks in the game. He was followed by Dillon McNamara who sent the three batters he faced down 1-2-3. Jacob Lindgren was next, striking out 1 batter in his inning of work before Jonathan Holder took over and pitched 2 perfect innings of work, striking out 5 of the 6 batters he faced.
Billy Fleming, Austin Aune, Santiago Nessy and Zach Zehner all had 2-hits apiece in the game while Abiatal Avelino and Miguel Andujar had 1 hit each.
These two teams will travel to Tampa on Friday night to faceoff again in the Tampa Yankees home opener. Left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin will take the ball for the T-Yanks with first pitch scheduled for 7:00p.m.