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Mike Ford (Bryan Green)

T-Yanks Take Opening Series with Third Consecutive Win

For the third consecutive game the Tampa Yankees came out victorious over the Lakeland Flying Tigers and for the third straight game the T-Yanks had a double-digit hit total.  Leading the way was first baseman Mike Ford who had a big grand slam and centerfielder Jake Skole, who was 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs.

Chance Adams took the ball for Tampa, making his first professional start.  He lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits while striking out 3.  Of the 74 pitches thrown, he threw 47 for strikes.  Adams gave up 2 runs in the first, 1 run in the second, 2 runs in the third and was charged with a run in the fourth.

Following Adams on the mound was right-hander Joey Maher.  Maher threw 2 2/3 innings and allowed 6 hits and a walk while striking out 3 and threw 27 of 38 pitches for strikes.

The Yankees plated their first run in the top of the fifth inning.  Michael O’Neill hit a sharp line drive to left field before moving to third on a 1-out on a wild pitcher.  After a second out was made O’Neill would score on a throwing error by the pitcher that allowed Mark Payton to reach base.

The real breakout came in the top of the seventh inning when the Tampa Yankees plated 5 runs.  Michael O’Neill, Jake Skole and Jorge Mateo hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases for Mark Payton who walked to force a run in.  After a pitching change Mike Ford hit a grand slam to center field to tie the games.

Michael O’Neill led off the top of the eighth inning with a fly ball to right field and then came home on a Jake Skole single to give Tampa the lead.  They added four more in the top of the ninth inning.  Billy Fleming started it with a single, he then moved to second on a wild pitch and then back-to-back walks to Abiatal Avelino and Santiago Nessy loaded the bases.  Austin Aune then lined a single to right to bring home Fleming and Avelino.  Nessy was thrown out at third on the play while Aune moved to second.  Aune then scored when Jake Skole sent a fly ball over the right-center field fence for his first homerun of the season.

Jacob Lindgren pitched a 1-2-3 inning of relief to earn the win before Matt Marsh took over on the mound and threw 2 innings of 1-hit and 1-walk ball, striking out 3 batters.

Sunday these two teams will meet again with the Tampa Yankees attempting to go for a sweep.  Gabriel Encinas will make the start for the Yankees.

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