After an eight game road trip the Tampa Yankees were finally back home at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday evening to take on the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Taking the mound for Tampa was Francisco Gil (ERA 4.20) who is usually seen as a long reliever for Tampa, made his first start.
In the top of the 2nd, Gil got into a little bit of trouble when the Stone Crabs were able to score three runs to take an early lead. Gil pitched just 2 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 runs and struck out just 1. Charlotte would score another run in both the 3rd and 4th innings and put the T-Yanks at a five run deficit. Reinier Casanova (ERA 3.86) pitched the next 2 1/3 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 run and was able to calm the game down just a bit.
In the bottom of the 4th after striking out, first baseman Kyle Roller was ejected from the game after arguing with the umpire about strikes and balls; Luke Murton replaced Roller as first baseman.
In the bottom of the 5th, Kelvin Castro hit a triple while Abeita and Medchill were on base. With a score of 5-2, Abe Almonte hit a sac fly to send Castro home to score run number three. In the top of bottom of the 7th, Ronnier Mustelier hit a sac fly to send both Medchill and Castro home to score and to tie the game at 5. Unable to do anything in the 8th and 9th innings the matchup went into extra innings, and this is when things became even more interesting.
In the top of the 13th after Mustelier was injured after trying to run out a play to first base, the lineup became a bit different to say the least. First Emerson Landoni who is most recognizable for his role as an infielder relieved Gipson on the mound as the pitcher for the T-Yanks. Landoni had already relieved Rob Segedin at third base prior to this switch. First baseman Luke Murton was moved from first base to third base to cover. Hector Rabago played second base for the ailing Mustelier and relief pitcher Michael Solbach made his appearance at first base to cover the spot that Murton had been playing before being moved. Solbach showed his all round talent and was responsible for getting two runners out at first.
In the bottom of the 14th however, magic finally sparked for Tampa. After both Castro and Almonte were walked, it was time for Rabago to step up to bat. As he was batting, Castro stole 3rd base to put him in the perfect position to score if need be. Rabago also walked and the bases were now loaded. Solbach, who as previously mentioned is a pitcher was now up to bat. Solbach ended up hitting a single on a fly ball sending Castro home to score the winning run and pushing the T-Yanks to the 6-5 win.
Landoni earned his first win as a pitcher (1-0) in this matchup and the Tampa Yankees are still currently on top of the FSL North leader board, 3 games ahead of the Clearwater Threshers.
Cody Johnson, although 2 for 6 on the night, played a definite clutch role for the T-Yanks on Friday.
Ronnier Mustelier was 2 for 6, 1 double and 2 RBIs.
Kelvin Castro was 3 for 5, 1 double, 1 triple and 2 RBIs.