Legends On Deck

Class-A: After 18 Innings Tampa Yankees Defeat Flying Tigers 3-2



Yankees #1 Prospect Jorge Mateo. (Photo by: Gabe Rodriguez/LOD)

The Tampa Yankees and Lakeland Flying Tigers met Henley Field on Thursday night which would turn into a marathon matchup and after eighteen innings, the T-Yanks would earn the 3-2 victory.

LHP James Reeves (ERA 1.13) took the start for the T-Yanks against LHP Jairo Labourt (ERA 4.99) who started for the Tigers.

In the top of the fourth, Tampa’s Wes Wilson reached on a fielding error by Lakeland’s Zac Shepherd which allowed Connor Spencer, who got on base after being hit by a pitch, to score and put Tampa up 1-0.

The T-Yanks then extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth, which started Devyn Bolasky and Thairo Estrada hitting consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. Abiatal Avelino then hit a sac fly to left field to send home Bolasky.

Yanks’ starter Reeves worked five and one-third innings of shutout ball with just one hit allowed; striking out six batters.

The Tigers’ Labourt went five innings allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits; walking one and striking out six.

The Yankees then continued to cruise until the bottom of the ninth when they would lose their lead. With Dillon McNamara (ERA 1.75) on the mound for the Yanks, a two-run single by Joey Pankake with bases loaded then tied the game as Ismael Salgado and highly touted Tigers’ prospect Christin Stewart scored. McNamara was charged with his second blown save of the season.

The game then headed to extra innings and as each frame passed by neither team was able to score any runs, until the top of the eighteenth that is, yes it took nearly another entire game to break the 2-2 game.

Tampa’s Thairo Estrada started the 18th with a double on a line drive to left field off of the Lakeland’s Joe Rogers (ERA 3.27) . A single by Austin Aune then advanced Estrada to third, putting runners at first and third with no outs. Abiatal Avelino then hit a RBI single on a line drive to center and put the T-Yanks up 3-2.

Gabriel Encinas (ERA 6.05) then pitched the final two innings with just one hit allowed; walking three and striking out three batters  and earning his first win of the season (1-3).

The Tampa Yankees have now clinched the Florida State League North Division Title for the first half, securing them a spot in the playoffs at the end of the season. This weekend, the FSL All-Star Game will take place with four Tampa Yankees representing the now division Champions.

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