TAMPA – The Tampa Yankees (13-10) scored seven unanswered runs in the middle innings to pull way from the Lakelald Flying Tigers (8-14) 7-4 on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Chris Capuano made the start for Tampa as part of a rehab assignment after suffering a strained right quadriceps during Spring Training. The southpaw worked four innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. Capuano struck out four and didn’t issue a walk, tallying 59 pitches in the outing.
Jiwan James led off the game by striking out, but reached on a passed ball. James later scored on a single by Ben Verlander to give Lakeland the lead in the first.
Scheduled starter Chaz Hebert entered in relief in the fifth. The left-hander allowed the first four batters to reach, including an RBI single by James. A second run scored during a 4-6-3 double play. Lakeland then took a 4-0 lead as a run scored on an error in center field by Claudio Custodio, allowing Dominic Ficociello to reach.
Flying Tiger starter Kevin Ziomek faced the minimum through the first four innings before the T-Yanks broke through in the fifth. Matt Snyder singled, Mike Ford walked and both scored as Ericson Leonora hit a triple to the wall in right. Later, Wes Wilson brought home Leonora with a groundout to third.
Miguel Andujar singled and stole second with one out in the sixth. Snyder then sent a 3-1 pitch well into the Walgreens Deck in right, giving Tampa its first lead. Ford singled and Leonora walked before RHP Montreal Robertson entered in relief for Lakeland. Danny Oh reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. Wilson then lined a two-run single into shallow left field, giving the Yankees a 7-4 advantage.
Ziomek (2-3) allowed a season-high seven earned runs on six hits in five and a third innings. The southpaw walked three and struck out seven.
Hebert (2-1) settled down and retired six of the final seven batters he faced. The lefty surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits in four innings, walking three while striking out three.
RHP Conor Mullee worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to pitch a scoreless inning, earning his fourth save of the season.
Snyder (2-for-4) scored two run and drove in a pair while hitting his third home run of the season. Leonora (1-for-3, BB) extended his hit streak to 11 games. Wilson picked up three RBI, going 1-for-3.
The series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. RHP Jonathan Holder (1-0, 2.11 ERA) is scheduled to start for Tampa. The Flying Tigers will counter with RHP Jonathan Maciel (0-2, 9.33 ERA). Sunday is Pepsi Little League Day. Kids wearing their Little League uniform receive free admission. The first 250 fans will get a 20th Season Collector’s Pin, thanks to Pepsi. Local Food Trucks will be in the plaza for fans to enjoy at the ballgame.
Fans can also enjoy Sonny’s BBQ Family Sunday. Get 2 reserved tickets, 2 Sonny’s BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, 2 sides of Mac & Cheese, 2 sodas and 2 passes to The Florida Aquarium for $20. Fans ages 55 & older receive a coupon for a free scooter dog, SM popcorn & SM Soda or juice with the purchase of a reserved ticket. All kids 14 and under receive FREE admission. Kids run the bases after the game.