Phillies Class A Affiliate, Clearwater Threshers, Hottest Team in Florida State League
The Clearwater Threshers enter into Monday at 15-6, winners of seven games straight and 9 of their last 10 in the Florida State League West Division.
The team has been a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate since 1985, and since they have won two League titles (1993, 2007) and three Division titles (1991, 1996, 2007).
Last season the Threshers finished in last place overall at 57-71, but so far early on in 2023, they are looking at doing the old worse to first, as they look to add first first division crown in 16 years.
Clearwater has outscored their opponents 121 to 84 on the season, and during their recent seven game winning streak, they have scored 65 runs, while allowing 29 to cross home plate. They have won their last two series’ against the Tampa Tarpons and St. Lucie Mets going 10-2 in that span.
The seven game win streak started on Sunday April 23 in Tampa, as Clearwater scored 12 runs, helped by a seven run second inning to open up the game and cruise to a 12-3 victory. Catcher Caleb Ricketts led the way with a 3 for 6 night, which included a double and three RBIs. Both Cole Moore and Erick Brito added two hits apiece and after Braeden Fausnaught tossed four innings allowing two runs on four hits, the bullen consisting of five different pitchers, worked together to secure the victory.
After a day off, the Threshers returned home for a six game set against the St. Lucie Mets and on the first night, Clearwater scored eight runs in the middle innings and held on for an 8-5 victory. Ricketts continued his hot hitting with a 2 for 4 night and three RBIs, as Justin Crawford chimed in with two hits of his own and two from Jordan Viars. On the mound, Jonathan Petit tossed three innings allowing two runs on six hits, and the bullpen held on as they were led by Jonh Henriquez, who earned his second win on the season, against zero losses.
The Phillies Class A affiliate continued to put up runs against Mets pitching as they scored early in Game two of the series, with nine runs in the first three innings, as they once against cruised to a 11-4 victory. Ricketts, who raised his average 40 points in just a few days of hot hitting, went 3 for 5, but had to take a back seat to teammate Otto Kemp, who finished the night 4 for 5. Cade Fergus, Brito and Gabriel Rincones Jr, all finished with two hits each. As for the pitchers, Starlyn Castillo struggled allowing four runs on three hits in four innings, while walking three and striking out four batters. Yoniel Ramirez earned his first victory of the season, after tossing two superb innings, striking out five batters.
On Thursday, April 27th, the Threshers scored early and late but needed the bullpen to shut down the offense, as the Mets rallied for three runs in the ninth, but came up short in a 7-6 Threshers victory. Ricketts was given the nigh off and his replacement behind the dish, Jordan Dissin, finished 2 for 3, hitting his first double on the season. Ricardo Rosario, Rincones Jr, and Brito also tallied two hits a piece, with Chad Castillo hitting his second home run of the young campaign. Estibenzon Jimenez, won his first game of the season, in relief of starter Alex Rao, who tossed three innings, allowing two earned runs, on five hits, a walk and six strikeouts.
Clearwater opened up Game three of the series, with their third straight game scoring three in the first inning, led by Crawford, who finished 2 for 4, with Viars hitting his second home run on the season. Alex McFarlane started the game, and tossed four innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking four and striking out five. Andrew Walling, won his second game of the season, after tossing 1.2 innings, allowing no runs or hits, while striking out four batters. The Threshers earned their fifth straight win, with a 7-2 victory, improving to 13-16.
On Saturday, they waited until the third inning to score three runs, then blew open the game with a seven-spot in the bottom of the sixth, which led to their sixth straight win, a 11-4 drubbing of the Mets. Both Rincones Jr and Castillo hit their third home run in 2023. Samuel Aldegheri, a native of Verona Italy, won his first game of the season, by tossing five innings, while allowing one run on three hits and eight strikeouts.
The Threshers got back to their early game scoring, as they put up four runs in the first and three in the second, to open up the final game of the series, with a 7-2 lead after two innings and held on for a 9-5 win and seven straight victories. Rincones Jr hit his fourth home run of the season and recorded back to back games with a home run. Castillo finished 3 for 5, and after a night off Ricketts returned and went 2 for 5, while driving in two runs. Henriquez improved his record to 3-0, after striking out seven batters in 3.2 innings of relief.
Sitting at 15-6, and two games up on the Bradenton Marauders, the Threshers will open up a six game set against the Lakeland Flying Tigers (11-10) starting on Tuesday in Clearwater.
Threshers Hot Hitters
Justin Crawford – Has an eight game hitting streak, with four multi-hot games in the span. He has also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
Ricardo Rosario – Has a three game hitting streak, with two multi-hit games in the span and has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
Caleb Ricketts – Has hit safely in six of his last seven games, with four multi-hit games (4 hits once, 3 hits twice, 2 hits twice).
Gabriel Rincones, Jr – Has a five game hitting streak, and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, with four multi hit games in the span (2 hits four times).
Chad Castillo – Has a five game hitting streak, with one multi-hit game (3 hits).
Jordan Viars – Has a six game hitting streak, with one multi-hit game (2 hits).
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