Florida bashes four homers, two doubles and a triple in 18-hit output on Tuesday night
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (April 25, 2017) – It did not take long for the Florida Fire Frogs to jump all over the Palm Beach Cardinals on Tuesday night, as the home team sent 13 men to the plate and jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening frame at Osceola County Stadium. The advantage would be more than enough for the inaugural team in a 22-2 route over their opponent in game one of the three-game series.
Ray-Patrick Didder (1×4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB) bounced out to third to start the offense, but the bats came alive after that, as the next seven batters reached base to plate the first four runs of the inning.
Ronald Acuna (3×5, 3 R, 3B, HR, 5 RBI) was hit by a pitch on the left hand for the first base runner of the night for Florida (9-10), and Austin Riley (2×6, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI) lined a single through the right side to put runners on the corners. Alex Jackson (3×6, 3 R, HR ,2 RBI) laced a grounder that skipped off the glove of Edmundo Sosa, scoring Acuna for the 1-0 lead and moving Riley around to third.
Jonathan Morales (1×6, 2 R) reached on an errant throw at third out of the right hand of Casey Turgeon, bringing home Riley and moving Jackson up to second with the two-run advantage. A walk to Braxton Davidson (2×4, 3 R, 2 BB) loaded the bases for Tyler Neslony (3×4, 4 R, HR, 3 RBI), who lined a single to center to bring home Jackson to give the home team a 3-0 edge.
Alay Lago (2×3, 2 R, 2B, 4 RBI) followed with his first of four runs driven in on the night, an RBI single to left that scored Morales for the fourth run of the frame.
Jake Woodford (1-1) struck out Omar Obregon (1×4, R, RBI, BB) for the second out and was immediately relieved for Brennan Leitao. The right-hander walked Didder to force in the fifth run of the inning.
Acuna cracked a triple over the head of Thomas Spitz in right, clearing the bases for an eight-spot in the opening frame for the Fire Frogs. Riley capped off the inning with a two-run blast over the wall in left-center for the final two runs of the first.
The 10-run cushion was plenty of room to work with for Ricardo Sanchez (1-2), as the left-hander allowed just two unearned runs in six innings for his first victory of the season. The 20-year-old scattered four hits, issued a free pass and tied a season-high with five strikeouts in his first quality start of the season.
Florida padded onto its big lead with four runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the seventh and four more in the eighth to come away with the final tally.
Neslony collected the second-long ball of the night for the Fire Frogs in the seventh, as the left-hander lined a shot over the wall in right for his second homer of the year. Acuna and Jackson launched their home runs in the eighth to give Florida a season-high, four blasts.
Acuna finished the night with a team-high, five RBI, to set a new record for the young club. Lago ended the game with four runs driven in before being lifted for a pinch runner after being hit by a pitch in the seventh.
Sean McLaughlin (2 IP, 3 H) and Josh Graham (1.0 IP, 2 H) tossed the final three frames, allowing only five hits on the night between the two right-handed relievers.
Florida will go for the series victory over Palm Beach (9-9) on Wednedsay night at Osceola County Stadium in game two of three-game series. RHP Touki Toussaint (1-2, 7.20) toes the rubber for the Fire Frogs against the Cardinals’ RHP Junior Fernandez (1-0, 3.06). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:05 p.m. on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.
Wednesday is Wine(d) Up Wednesay at Osceola County Stadium, where fans can enjoy $3 wine at the home of the Fire Frogs. As part of the Most Improved Student Program, the Florida Fire Frogs will reward students for their hard work and achievement with a pre-game, on-field ceremony. April 26 will also be Service Industry Night, where members of the service industry can purchase tickets at a discounted rate.
About the Florida Fire Frogs
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.